The Dutch will be missing for a second consecutive big tournament. They failed to qualify for EURO 2016 with a 4th place finish in their qualification group. The Czech Republic, Iceland, and Turkey finished ahead of them and they didn't even get a chance to chase the finals ticket in the playoffs.
Before missing out on Russia 2018, the Netherlands played in three consecutive World Cups. They finished 3rd in 2014, and even made it into the final in 2010, losing to Spain only in extra time. It's been a shocking fall from grace for the nation that has given football so much. But you also can't say it hasn't been coming.
The nation has been forced to still rely on the likes of Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Robin van Persie, who are all near the end of their careers and far away from their prime. The next generation of players haven't managed to take over the reigns of the team, without a massive drop in quality.
The development of young footballers in the Netherlands is world renown, yet they haven't had success with their youth teams either. The U21s last won the European Championships ten years ago and haven't even qualified for four of the last five finals. The U19's made it to the semis this year, but they have frequently missed the final tournament before.Published 14 Nov 2017, 14:31 IST