The 10 Top Goal Scorers For Netherlands Football Team All-Time

Top Goal Scorers For Netherlands Football Team All-Time: The Netherlands, a country known for its influential role in football during the 1970s, significantly shaped the game as we know it today. They introduced innovative strategies like possession football, surprising Europe with their dominance in both club and national teams. Even though the Netherlands hasn’t won a World Cup yet, they clinched a European Championship in 1988 and made it to three World Cup finals.

Top Goal Scorers For Netherlands Football Team All-Time

Now, let’s talk about the top goal scorers for the Netherlands football team of all time. These players made a huge impact on both modern and old-fashioned football. Let’s take a look at their achievements and influence on the sport.

1. Robin Van Persie

  • Career Span: 2005–2017
  • Matches: 102
  • Goals: 50
  • Average: 0.49
  • Minutes Played: 7,317

Robin van Persie has made remarkable contributions to the Dutch national team, becoming their all-time leading scorer. He played 102 international matches and netted 50 goals.

Van Persie is known for his exceptional technique, speed, and incredible finishing skills. He can score using both feet and his head, often finding the net from challenging angles.

Van Persie’s talent has solidified his place as one of the best players in Dutch football history. He played a key role in the Dutch team’s journey to the World Cup final in 2010 and their third-place finish in 2014. His 50 goals in 102 appearances make him the highest scorer in the history of the Netherlands national team.

2. Memphis Depay

  • Career Span: 2013–
  • Matches: 84
  • Goals: 43
  • Average: 0.50
  • Minutes Played: 6,270

Memphis Depay started his international career in 2011, winning the European Championships with the Netherlands U17 national team and scoring in the final against Germany. He made his senior team debut in 2013 under coach Louis van Gaal during a 2-0 victory against Turkey. In the 2014 World Cup, Depay played a crucial role, scoring goals in the preliminary games against Chile and Australia, helping the Netherlands secure a third-place finish in Brazil.

Following the departure of key players like Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie, Depay became a vital attacker for the Dutch team under coach Ronald Koeman. He formed a strong partnership with midfielders Frenkie de Jong and Georginio Wijnaldum. Depay’s significant contributions helped the Netherlands qualify for the 2021 European Championship, where he played as a center forward in a 3-5-2 formation alongside players like Wout Weghorst and Donyell Malen.

During the group stage of the Euro 2021, Depay scored goals in victories against Austria and North Macedonia and assisted in another goal against North Macedonia. Despite his efforts, the Netherlands was eliminated in the round of 16 against the Czech Republic. Depay played a vital role in the team, finishing as one of the top scorers alongside captain Georginio Wijnaldum and winger Denzel Dumfries.

3. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

  • Career Span: 2006–2015
  • Matches: 76
  • Goals: 42
  • Average: 0.55
  • Minutes Played: 4,399

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is the third-highest goal scorer for the Netherlands national football team, scoring 42 goals in 76 matches. He started his international career in 2006 and played in two European Championships and three World Cups. He was a key player in the Dutch team that reached the final of the 2010 World Cup.

In 2006, Huntelaar was recognized as the Dutch Football Talent of the Year and Ajax’s “Player of the Year.” He also played a vital role in the Dutch side that won the 2006 UEFA U-21 Championship, where he was the top goal scorer and received the player of the tournament award.

Additionally, he was selected as one of the two strikers in the UEFA Team of the Tournament. Huntelaar holds the record for the most goals scored for the Netherlands U-21 national team, with 18 goals in 23 appearances.

4. Patrick Kluivert

  • Career Span: 1994–2004
  • Matches: 79
  • Goals: 40
  • Average: 0.51
  • Minutes Played: 5,816

Patrick Kluivert was once the top scorer for the Dutch national team, with 40 goals in 79 games until October 11, 2013. He held this record until Robin van Persie surpassed it by scoring his 39th, 40th, and 41st international goals in an 8-1 victory against Hungary.

Despite his goal-scoring prowess, Kluivert’s international career had mixed successes. In the 1996 European Championships, the team was eliminated in the quarter-finals. They showed improvement in the 1998 World Cup, reaching the semi-finals but were defeated by Brazil in a penalty shootout. Kluivert had notable moments, scoring against Belgium in the first round in the quarter-finals against Argentina, and in the semi-finals against Brazil.

His standout moment came in the 2000 European Championships in the Netherlands. In the quarter-final against Yugoslavia, Kluivert scored three goals, helping the team win 6-1. He became the top scorer of the tournament with five goals. However, in the memorable semi-final against Italy, he missed a penalty during regular time. The Netherlands eventually lost in the penalty shootout, with Kluivert being the only player from his team to score. In the 2004 European Championships, Kluivert didn’t play in any games, and in the 2006 World Cup, he was not selected by the coach due to his limited practice time because of injuries.

5. Dennis Bergkamp

  • Career Span: 1990–2000
  • Matches: 79
  • Goals: 37
  • Average: 0.47
  • Minutes Played: 6,339

Dennis Bergkamp, a legendary figure in English football, takes the 5th spot in our ranking. He was a standout forward for Arsenal, where he’s considered a club legend and even has a statue outside the Emirates Stadium.

In addition to his club success, Bergkamp made a significant impact in the national team, scoring 37 goals in 79 matches for the Netherlands.

Although he didn’t win a title with the national team, his contributions easily earned him a place among the Top Goal Scorers for the Netherlands Football Team of all time.

6. Arjen Robben

  • Career Span: 2003–2017
  • Matches: 96
  • Goals: 37
  • Average: 0.39
  • Minutes Played: 7,394

Arjen Robben is a well-known name in world football, especially among younger fans. He made a significant impact as a speedy winger and played a crucial role in Bayern Munich’s European success under Jupp Heynckes.

Robben is known for his exceptional speed, technical skills, and dribbling ability, which can easily deceive defenders with his body feints and tricks. Despite typically playing on the right side, he often takes on the role of a playmaker, orchestrating the team’s offensive strategies.

In addition to his club success, Robben has also performed admirably for the Dutch national team. Although he hasn’t won major titles with the national team, he played a vital role in their journey to the 2010 World Cup final. Robben scored 37 goals in 96 matches for the Netherlands, making him one of the greatest Dutch players in history.

7. Faas Wilkes

  • Career Span: 1946–1961
  • Matches: 38
  • Goals: 35
  • Average: 0.92
  • Minutes Played: 3,450

Servaas “Faas” Wilkes was a Dutch football forward who had an impressive international career. He earned a total of 38 caps for the Dutch national team and scored 35 goals, boasting an outstanding average of 0.92 goals per game.

However, there was a significant period in his career, from June 1949 to March 1955, during which he was banned from the national team. This ban was imposed because the KNVB (Royal Dutch Football Association) did not permit professional players to participate in the national team during that time.

Despite this setback, Wilkes also represented the Netherlands at the 1948 Summer Olympics, showcasing his talent and dedication to the sport.

8. Ruud van Nistelrooy

  • Career Span: 1998–2011
  • Matches:  70
  • Goals: 35
  • Average: 0.50
  • Minutes Played: 4,543

Ruud van Nistelrooy, the Dutch football star, made his national team debut on November 18, 1998, against Germany (resulting in a 1-1 draw) and scored his first international goal on April 28, 1999, against Morocco.

He, unfortunately, missed the 2000 European Football Championship due to an injury but played in the 2004 European Championship. In a crucial game against Germany, van Nistelrooy scored the equalizer, and in the subsequent matches, he scored three more goals. The Netherlands eventually lost to Portugal in the semi-finals. In the 2006 World Cup, he scored a goal against Ivory Coast, but in the round of 16 against Portugal, he was benched by coach Marco van Basten, who had criticized him publicly.

Van Nistelrooy made a comeback in August 2007 against Switzerland after a year-long absence. He played in the 2008 European Championships, scoring two goals in three games. He retired from the national team in August 2008 to focus on his club career with Real Madrid. Despite hoping for a spot in the 2010 World Cup squad, he was not selected by coach Bert van Marwijk. However, after the World Cup, he returned and scored his 34th international goal against San Marino, surpassing legends Johan Cruyff and Abe Lenstra in the national team’s top scorer list.

9. Abe Lenstra

  • Career Span: 1940–1959
  • Matches: 47
  • Goals: 33
  • Average: 0.70
  • Minutes Played: 4,260

Abe Minderts Lenstra, a renowned Dutch footballer in the 1950s, was a forward and a national football icon. He is widely considered one of the greatest players from the Netherlands and a legend in the region of Friesland, especially for his contributions to the club Heerenveen.

Lenstra made his international debut in 1940 and represented the Netherlands in two Olympic Games. He played a significant role in the Dutch team that won the bronze medal at the 1948 Olympic Games. During his time with the national team, he earned 47 caps and scored 33 goals. He formed partnerships with other notable players like Faas Wilkes and Kees Rijvers.

Lenstra was known for his strong principles and stood firm on his beliefs. He would object to playing for the national squad if he wasn’t selected for the position he preferred, showcasing his dedication to the game and his position on the field.

10. Johan Cruyff

  • Career Span: 1966–1977
  • Matches: 48
  • Goals: 33
  • Average: 0.69
  • Minutes Played: 4,282

Johan Cruyff, also known as the Flying Dutchman, is not just one of the best players in European football history but also a global football icon. He was a midfielder and forward celebrated for his incredible talent and game vision. Many consider him one of the greatest footballers ever. Cruyff scored 33 goals in 48 matches for the national team.

His exceptional speed, agility, and remarkable technique set him apart. His numerous tricks and technical moves made him famous. Cruyff was not only inventive and creative but also one of the best-attacking midfielders in history.

In his national team career, although he didn’t secure any major titles, he led the Netherlands to the final of the 1974 World Cup. They defeated Argentina and Brazil but lost to West Germany in the final. Cruyff is widely regarded as the best Dutch player of all time, leaving an indelible mark on the sport.

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