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Meet the Dutch

June 29, 2004 14:37 IST

Dutch squad penpix ahead of the European Championship semi-final against hosts Portugal on Wednesday:

Goalkeeper:

1-Edwin van der Sar (Fulham)
Born: 29.10.70
Caps: 88.

First choice since 1995 when he made his debut a fortnight after winning the Champions League with Ajax Amsterdam. Moved to Juventus in 1999 but lost his place after Gianluigi Buffon arrived and signed for Fulham two years later. Has played in all four games at Euro 2004, saving a penalty from Sweden defender Olof Mellberg in the quarter-final shootout that helped the Dutch reach the last four. Has played in three major tournaments and been knocked out on penalties every time: Euro 96 quarter-finals, 1998 World Cup semis and 2000 Euro semi.

Defenders:

15-Frank de Boer (Rangers)
Born: 15.5.1970.
Caps: 112, goals: 13.

No-one has played more times for the Netherlands and he is hoping to crown his career by winning the title in Portugal. Played in two previous European Championships and lost both in a semi-final penalty shootout, while his World Cup dreams of 1994 and 1998 ended in the quarter-final and semi-final. Started Euro 2004 as a substitute and came in for the injured Wilfred Bouma in the 3-0 Group D win over Latvia. Limped off after 35 minutes against Sweden in the quarter-final and could miss the semi. Left Galatasaray during this year's winter break to be reunited with twin brother Ronald at Rangers. The pair are heading to play in Qatar.

3-Jaap Stam (Lazio)
Born: 17.7.72.
Caps: 66, goals: 3.

Made his debut at 24, two months before Euro 96, and stayed on the bench during the finals. Has played in all four games at Euro 2004 and will retire from international football after the tournament. Has just signed a two-year deal with Italian champions AC Milan after three seasons at Lazio, who he joined after revelations in his biography upset Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson. Was suspended for a nandrolone-related positive test soon after joining Lazio but has always maintained his innocence. Stam started his career at FC Zwolle and played for SC Cambuur Leeuwarden and Willem II before moving to PSV Eindhoven. He joined United in 1998 and was part of the team that won the treble of Champions League, premier league and FA Cup in 1999.

4-Wilfred Bouma (PSV Eindhoven)
Born: 15.6.78
Caps: 15, Goals: 1.

Began his career as a conventional winger. Coach Erik Gerets transformed him into a full back. His international career has been thwarted by injuries. When fit he is Dick Advocaat's first choice as a left-sided defender. At Euro 2004 he picked up an Achilles injury in the second Group D match against the Czech Republic in which he scored after four minutes. Was replaced by Frank de Boer against Latvia but came off the bench in the quarter-final against Sweden to take over from De Boer, who was himself injured.

18-Johnny Heitinga (Ajax Amsterdam)
Born: 15.11.83.
Caps: 9, goals: 1.

Versatile defender who managed an impressive comeback from cruciate knee ligament surgery in September 2002. Made his debut at 17 for Ajax Amsterdam under coach Co Adriaanse. Won his first cap in February 2004 against the United States as a right back. Replaced the injured Michael Reiziger in that position for their first group game against Germany at Euro 2004 and lost his place through suspension in the third match versus Latvia. Came on during the quarter-final with Sweden and scored their second penalty in the shootout.

22-Boudewijn Zenden (Middlesbrough)
Born: 15.8.76.
Caps: 53, goals: 7.

Began his career as a winger and still retains the pace and power to unsettle defenders. Made the Dutch squad in 1997 under Guus Hiddink and after his transfer to Barcelona in 1999 was used as both a midfielder and defender on the left flank. His father was a Dutch judo champion. Started the first group match at Euro 2004 before being substituted at halftime after failing to make an impression. Has not seen action since. Has been on loan from Chelsea to Middlesbrough, scoring a penalty in the League Cup final against Bolton Wanderers that gave Boro their first major trophy.

5-Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Barcelona)
Born: 5.2.75.
Caps: 40, goals: 3.

Was added to the Dutch squad by Guus Hiddink directly after Euro 96 as a left-sided midfielder. Experienced the 1998 World Cup as a reserve and played three matches during Euro 2000. Has been ever-present at Euro 2004. Moved to Arsenal in 2001 where he mainly played on the left-side of defence but missed a year with a cruciate knee ligament injury before joining Barcelona on loan this season, becoming a regular starter under former Dutch coach Frank Rijkaard.

2-Michael Reiziger (Barcelona)
Born: 3.5.73
Caps: 71, goals: 1.

Started his career as right winger but during a loan period at Groningen was transformed into a right-sided defender on the advice of Ajax Amsterdam coach Louis van Gaal. Played in the Ajax side that won the European Cup in 1995. Moved to Barcelona in 1997 and will be leaving the Nou Camp this summer and has been linked with Valencia and Middlesbrough. Missed the first group match against Germany at Euro 2004 with a hamstring problem but returned as a substitute in the 3-2 defeat by the Czech Republic that followed and has retained his place. Scored the third penalty in the quarter-final shootout against Sweden.

Midfielders:

6-Philip Cocu (Barcelona)
Born: 29.10.70
Caps: 83, goals: 7.

Versatile late bloomer who made his debut at 25 and two months before Euro 96. Has played in every Dutch team in finals tournaments since then. Reliable midfielder also used as a central defender and has captained the Dutch side in the absence of Frank de Boer and Edgar Davids. Has played well in all four matches at Euro 2004 but missed their fourth penalty in the quarter-final shootout win over Sweden.

8-Edgar Davids (Barcelona)
Born: 13.3.73
Caps: 67, goals: 6.

A midfield battler with almost as many red cards as goals in his career. At Euro 96 he was sent home by Guus Hiddink after he publicly criticised his coach but after a two-year ban made the squad for the 1998 World Cup and scored the winner in the second match against Yugoslavia. Has started all four matches at Euro 2004 but has stayed on the pitch for 90 minutes only against the Czech Republic after being substituted in the other three games. Wears distinctive eye glasses as protection for glaucoma.

11-Rafael van der Vaart (Ajax Amsterdam)
Born: 11.2.83
Caps: 20, goals: 4.

Made his debut for Ajax at 17 and as an international at 18. Widely regarded as the next great Dutch talent and has already been linked with a move to one of Europe's big clubs. Has recovered from several knee injuries in his first three years and is already skipper at Ajax. Guided the Dutch to Portugal together with team mate Wesley Sneijder during the second playoff match against Scotland. Started the first group match at Euro 2004 against Germany and came on as a late substitute against the Czech Republic. Not used since.

14-Wesley Sneijder (Ajax Amsterdam)
Born: 9.6.84.
Caps: 11, goals: 2.

The leader on the pitch in the deciding playoff match against Scotland with the opening goal and three assists. Made his debut for Ajax Amsterdam and the Dutch team last season and together with team mate Rafael van der Vaart and Arjen Robben considered as the future of Dutch soccer. Appeared as a substitute against Germany and Latvia in the Euro 2004 group games.

20-Clarence Seedorf (AC Milan)
Born: 1.4.76
Caps: 76, goals: 11.

The only player to win the European Cup with three different clubs (Ajax 1995, Real Madrid 1998 and AC Milan 2003). On his day can determine the course of a match but also disappears for long periods too. Has a poor record with penalties, having failed to convert from the spot in the quarter-final shootout against France at Euro 96 and missing several at club level in shootouts. Missed the opening group game against Germany with a hamstring injury before returning in the second match against the Czech Republic and ever-present since.

Forwards:

10-Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United)
Born:
1.7.76
Caps: 37, goals: 18.

The undisputed leader of the Dutch attack, he is joint top scorer at Euro 2004 with four goals alongside England's Wayne Rooney. Scored in all the group games, including a double against Latvia, and converted the first penalty in the quarter-final shootout with Sweden. Has been a prolific scorer throughout his career, which was derailed in 2000 after a knee injury that took him a year to recover from and cost him a place at Euro 2000. The injury also postponed an agreed move to Manchester United for 12 months. Since moving to England, has scored more than 100 in three seasons at Old Trafford.

12-Roy Makaay (Bayern Munich)
Born: 9.3.75
Caps: 34, goals: 6.

Top European scorer in 2003 with Deportivo Coruna he moved to Bayern Munich last summer and has hardly stopped scoring since. He has not been able to translate that devastating club form into goals for his country and has never been the first choice in the Dutch squad with strikers van Nistelrooy and Patrick Kluivert ahead of him. Has made two appearances as a substitute at Euro 2004 after coming on against Latvia, scoring the third goal, and in the quarter-final versus Sweden, when he netted the fifth Dutch penalty in the shootout.

16-Marc Overmars (Barcelona)
Born: 29.3.73
Caps: 85, goals: 17.

Still the most expensive Dutch player as Barcelona paid about 37 million euros to Arsenal in 2000. Missed the 1996 Euro finals through injury. Versatile winger oneither left or right flank. Came on as a halftime substitute in the first group games against Germany and Latvia.

7-Andy van der Meyde (Inter Milan)
Born: 30.9.79.
Caps: 17, goals: 1.

Right winger who made his debut under coach Dick Advocaat in May 2002 against the United States. Impressed during Ajax Amsterdam's Champions League campaign season before last, which earned him a move to Internazionale. Started well in Italy but has been consigned to the bench for most of his time with the Milan club. Has started all the matches at Euro 2004 but has only lasted the full 90 minutes in the opening match with Germany.

19-Arjen Robben (PSV Eindhoven)
Born: 23.1.84
Caps: 9, goals: 2.

Scored the winning penalty against Sweden to put the Dutch into the semi-finals. A pacy left winger with a desire to score goals, he has caused problems for defences since coming into the team for the second match against the Czech Republic. Was controversially substituted against the Czechs with the Netherlands leading 2-1, only to see them lose 3-2. The hope of Dutch soccer together with Rafael van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder. Visited Manchester United last January but signed for Chelsea and will move to London after the European Championship.

Source:
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