11 facts on the Germany-Netherlands rivalry

The latest edition of the long-standing rivalry between the Netherlands and Germany will take place on 24 March. It will be the 43rd contest between the neighbouring countries – and the fans can look forward to another hard-fought encounter. SPIELFELD has looked at the history of the fixture that marks the start of the EURO 2020 qualifying campaign.


The two countries have previously faced off 42 times. Germany have 15 wins, while the Netherlands have 11. The latest clash in November 2018 ended 2-2 and was the 16th draw between the teams.


Germany have the superior goal difference in this fixture too – they have scored 79 and conceded 69.



The German national team have won seven major titles, including four World Cups and three European Championships. Meanwhile, the Netherlands' only title came when they won the 1988 European Championship – in Germany.


Both nations have lost ground in the world rankings in recent years. Germany currently occupy 16th spot, while the Netherlands are two places higher.


Josef Pöttinger is Germany's record goalscorer against the Netherlands. He scored nine goals in total – five of them against the Dutch – in 14 appearances between 1926 and 1930.


Lothar Matthäus, the most-capped player in the history of the German national team, has made more appearances against the Netherlands (eight) than any of his compatriots. Jürgen Kohler and Jürgen Klinsmann both faced the Oranje six times each.


The biggest victory the Germans have ever achieved over the Netherlands was a 7-0 drubbing in 1959. The highest-scoring game took place in 1912, when the two teams played out a 5-5 draw.


Nico Schulz is currently the only Hoffenheim player to have ever represented Germany against the Netherlands. The full-back played the full 90 minutes in the 2-2 stalemate in November 2018.


German fans scorned and derided their rivals in 2002 by chanting: "We're going to the World Cup without the Netherlands." That wasn't the only major tournament missed out on by the tradition-steeped football nation, who failed to qualify for EURO 2016 and World Cup 2018 too. TSG man Pavel Kaderabek was one of the central figures in denying the Dutch a spot in 2016: the Czech full-back scored the opening goal in the decisive qualifier in the Netherlands to set his country on the path to a 3-2 victory.


Germany remain unbeaten by the Netherlands at the World Cup. Die Mannschaft have won two of their previous five meetings with the Dutch on the greatest stage of all – including the 1974 final. The head-to-head record is more even at European Championships, however: both teams have two wins apiece, while there was a group-stage draw at EURO 2004 that cost Germany a place in the knockout stages.


The most controversial meeting between the arch rivals came in the last 16 at the 1990 World Cup. Both teams finished with 10 men as Rudi Völler of Germany and Frank Rijkaard of the Netherlands were both dismissed for their involvement in a rather harmless altercation. But it was what happened beforehand that caused a stir: standing behind his opponent, Rijkaard spat into Völler's magnificent mullet. It was an action the Dutchman repeated as the players both made their way off the field. In doing so, Rijkaard earned himself the nickname "Lama". Völler was astonished by the incident. "I admired myself for managing to keep so calm," he later said. But he ultimately had the last laugh as Germany won 2-1 and went on to become world champions, with Völler slotting home the decisive penalty in the final.

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