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10.12.2008 11:22

The Oranje are now Blancos

Jesús Carrillo

Since the 1970’s, Dutch football has had a strong connection to FC Barcelona. Not only with the large number of players from the country, but also with the coaches too, but now Real Madrid has taken over.

Since Gio van Bronckhorst left Barça to join Feyenoord two years ago, there have been no more players from the Netherlands at the club and Frank Rijkaard’s exit in the summer saw all links with the country come finish.

Moving to Madrid

In fact, as Barcelona were seeing their Dutch stars leave, as many were signing on at the Bernabéu. Two years ago Ruud van Nistelrooy joined from Manchester United and last term Royston Drenthe, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben followed him. The last signing, until Klaas-Jan Huntelaar moves officially in January, was Rafael Van der Vaart.

The start

Since Marinus Michels took over as coach in 1972, Dutch football and the Blaugrana have been inextricably linked. Johan Cruyff and Johan Neeskens joined in 1973 and 1974 respectively. The trio stayed a number of years with Michels and Cruyff leaving in 1978 and Neeskens going in 1979, to leave Barça with no representatives from the Netherlands.

Cruyff, Koeman and Witschge

KOEMAN.JPGThat changed almost ten years later when Cruyff returned as coach in 1988 and Ronald Koeman moved to the club to boslter the defence and add some oranje to the squad once again. In 1992 Richard Witschge made it three when he moved to Barcelona to join the Blaugrana.

Van Gaal

EUFxRIA_LLIGA_98-99.jpgWhen Louis van Gaal became the coach the number of Dutch players at the club increased and in the 1998-99 campaign no less than eight players in the squad were from the Netherlands. Winston Bogarde, Philip Cocu, Frank and Ronald De Boer, Ruud Hesp, Patrick Kluivert, Michael Reiziger and Boudewijn Zenden.

Since then four more have worn the famous Barça colours with Marc Overmars (2000-2004), Gio Van Bronkhorst (2003-2007), Edgar Davids (2204) and Mark van Bommel (2005/06) all playing for the club.
The Oranje are now Blancos
Dutch players in Barça
Johan Cruyff 1973-78
Johan Neeskens 1974-79
Danny Muller 1988
Ronald Koeman 1989-95
Richard Witschge 1991-93
Jordi Cruyff 1993-96
Michael Reiziger 1997/04
Ruud Hesp 1997/00
Winston Bogarde 1997/00
Bowdejwin Zenden 1998/01
Phillip Cocu 1998/04
Patrick Kluivert 1998/04
Ronald de Boer 1999/00
Frank de Boer 1999/03
Marc Overmars 2000/04
Gio van Bronckhorst 2003/07
Edgar Davids 2004
Mark Van Bommel 2005/06

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