Even if their rivalry has faded over the last two decades the Netherlands vs. Germany still remains one of the most exciting matches in international football primarily because football history is littered with memorable matches between these two neighbors and football powerhouses. Here are the best of the best:
Netherlands 1 – 2 West Germany – 1974 World Cup Final
The match that kickstarted the great rivalry. A game that started with one of the most impressive sequences of passes in football history and a typical yet classic finish that delivered an upset against what still remains to many the greatest side never to win a World Cup medal.
West Germany 2 – 2 Netherlands – 1978 World Cup – Second Group Stage
Another heated and exciting matchup full of drama, perpetuated by an eager and political conscious press. The Germans took the lead twice before the Dutch equalized just minutes from time. The match was a symbol of the pressure and tension to come in the following decade.
West Germany 3 – 2 Netherlands – Euro 1980 – Group Stage
Another chance for revenge for the Dutch and another missed opportunity. Klaus Allofs’s hattrick gave Germany a commanding lead before the Dutch rallied back but the game was overshadowed by more on field conflict including a fight between Toni Schumacher and Huub Stevens and Rene van de Kerkhof punching Bernd Schuster.
West Germany 1 – 2 Netherlands – Euro 1988 – Semi Final
The Netherlands’s great revenge on German soil and arguably the peak of the rivalry. Pre-match discussion was full of war references and the deep contempt the Dutch had for the Germans. On the field it was a very physical affair once again and Ronald Koeman celebrated the win by wiping his backside with a German jersey. Dutch captain Ruud Gullit dedicated the win to the older generation after the match.
Germany 2 -1 Netherlands – 1990 World Cup – Second Round
It was now Germany’s turn to get revenge with memories of 1988 still fresh in the minds of the players. With the rivalry at its high point the tension reached a boiling point on the pitch. The game became known more for the fouls, Frank Rijkaard’s spitting incident with Rudi Völler and the red cards than the football but epitomized what still remains the fiercest rivalry in Germany’s national team history.
Netherlands 3 – 1 Germany – Euro 1992 – Group Stage
One of the Netherlands’s best performances against Germany even though it meant little in the big picture. Both teams had qualified but pride was at stake and Germany without key players like Matthäus and Völler were outplayed by an inspired Dutch team. The rivalry began to die down following this match and Germany’s decline.
Germany 3 – 0 Netherlands – 2011 – International Friendly
Arguably Germany’s best performance against the Dutch in decades as the trio of Thomas Müller, Miroslav Klose and Mesut Özil bewildered the World Cup runners up in a thoroughly dominant display. A new generation of players downplayed the rivalry showing the changed nature of the rivalry. Also one of the great performances in the Löw era.
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