Netherlands Player Ratings

[REPORT CARD] Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the Dutch players in the Netherlands' 1-0 loss to Spain in the World Cup final on Sunday.

The Dutch fell despite carving out good opportunities that Arjen Robben failed to convert. After scoring 12 goals in six games leading up to the final, the Dutch were shut out for the first time and became the first nation to lose all three of its trips to the championship game.

6 Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax) 34-0
Excellent save early in the match denied Sergio Ramos header from free kick, and he recovered in time to smother follow-up shot by Gerard Pique. Punched away Xavi free kick in overtime to highlight a series of vital clearances.

5 Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax) 15-0
Monitored Joan Capdevila’s forays forward, headed balls away at the back post. Caught out of position when Andres Iniesta collected a chip and fired it into the net.

4 John Heitinga (Everton) 61-6
Cleared a dangerous Sergio Ramos cross early in the match, cautioned for tackle that whipped out David Villa’s legs, thwarted chance for Villa with a sliding block, sent off on second yellow card for barely grabbing Iniesta’s shoulder.

4 Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg) 62-3
Fluffed a great chance when a clever corner kick was angled right to him mere yards from the goal. Won balls in the air, stopped Spain a few times at the edge of the penalty area. Cautioned after Spain’s goal for angrily berating referee Howard Webb.

6 Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord) 106-6
Shut down Pedro several times, and battled Sergio Ramos to a draw. Recovered in extra time to deflect Jesus Navas’s shot with a sliding block. Left his final game in the final minutes to a noisy ovation.

4 Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich) 63-10
Cautioned midway through the first half for flattening Iniesta, broke up Spain’s midfield rhythm with tackles and interceptions. Got the ball quickly to Wesley Sneijder in good spots.

4 Nigel de Jong (Man. City) 48-1
Studded a standing Xabi Alonso in the chest, which isn’t easy to do. In any other game de Jong would probably have been red-carded. Fouled a few more times but stayed on the field until Rafael Van Der Vaart replaced him in extra time.

4 Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool) 70-16
Helped out defensively by tracking back to contain Pedro and other attackers but looked exhausted. Very quiet offensively: the effort was there but the touches weren’t. When handed a good chance by Sergio Busquets early in the match he could only direct a weak effort on goal.

5 Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) 52-15
Veered in from the flank to test Iker Casillas twice with good shots, broke through a few times on the dribble, fluffed two excellent chances when sent free right down the middle.

6 Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan) 68-19
Set up two great chances for Arjen Robben with balls that cut open the center of Spain’s back line, stopped Iniesta with a goalmouth tackle, prompted the Dutch attack with limited success.

4 Robin van Persie (Arsenal) 51-19
Rarely threatened on the ball, contributed a few good touches but seldom broke free of his markers within sight of goal. Drew defenders when Robben took off on the dribble, lacked the confidence to work combinations in tight situations.

4 Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid) 83-16
Added a bit of life to the Dutch attack yet didn’t make a great impact considering he was a fresh player entering a tough match in overtime. Failed clearance of Fernando Torres' cross led to goal. Tried to block Iniesta’s shot but his lunge came up short.

3 Eljero Elia (Hamburg) 15-2
Replaced Dirk Kuyt in the 71st minute to negligible effect. Got past Sergio Ramos early in the second extra period but let the ball run over the goal line before crossing it.

NR Edson Braafheid (Celtic) 8-0
No factor in his 15 minutes.

7 comments about "Netherlands Player Ratings".
  1. Christopher Holden, July 12, 2010 at 12:54 a.m.

    If I didn't know better I'd swear the Netherlands lost the game 5 - 0, based on your review. You gave Heitinga a four (4) ... read your own review -- sounds like an eight (8). He played a great game and if not for Webb's willingness to give him another yellow card that game would have gone to a shootout. HERE's your review:
    Cleared a dangerous Sergio Ramos cross early in the match, cautioned for tackle that whipped out David Villa’s legs, thwarted chance for Villa with a sliding block, sent off on second yellow card for barely grabbing Iniesta’s shoulder. AND THAT's a four (4). Get real.

  2. David Huff, July 12, 2010 at 8:44 a.m.

    Again I agree with Chris, Heitenga was sent off on a "made-up" fabricated 2nd yellow and Robben only had one "excellent chance" down the middle because on the other opportunity he was blatently held/foulded in the box by the Spanish defender (Puyol?). Webb's refereeing (including the non-red yello on De Jong in the 1st half) and your analysis are both awful.

  3. Kerry Ogden, July 12, 2010 at 9:04 a.m.

    I guess the ref had to make up for not giving De Jong a straight red in the first have, which would have sunk the Netherland boat or for the persistant fouling created by Van Bommel on Spainish player throughout the whole game. Reguardless Spain deserved to win,
    even the Netherlands coach after the game addmitted that Spain was the better Team in the end, so stop the whining!!!!!!

  4. David Huff, July 12, 2010 at 10:11 a.m.

    Kerry, I don't see anyone "whining" here, just feedback to the inadequacies of Ridge's match review. Spain was the tournament favorite entering the WC and thats the way it ended up.

  5. Corey Zimmerman, July 12, 2010 at 12:11 p.m.

    If Mr. Holden feels Webb deserves a 1 (which I totally disagree with), then Robben deserves a 1 as well. He is the poster boy of everything that is wrong w/soccer today. Not only are his dives intolerable, but then he rolls on the ground and "writhes" in pain when video replay showed on some occasions that he wasnt even touched. His clever and persistent faking in the Brazil game directly influenced the outcome of that game by baiting a weak-minded player like Felipe Melo into stomping on him for a red card. (You know when Robinho reprimands you for diving, you've really accomplished something!)So now when the call doesnt go his way when Puyol grabbed him, he chases the ref like a maniac wondering how such an autrocity could occur. Further, his postgame comments only focused on that missed call on Puyol. What he didnt do was "man up" and admit he failed to put away the easiest of chances earlier that would have put his team ahead. What a completely petulant, spoiled brat! I'm so glad I didnt have to see him holding the cup aloft. I would have thrown up. On second thought, he gets a big "zero" rating.

  6. Randall and barbara Smith, July 12, 2010 at 1:28 p.m.

    So many complainers about everything. The review at the top explains that this is for the Players Ratings. The referees are going to call what they see and what they feel are fouls. The writer is only offering his opinion as to the ratings. Everyone will be somewhat different in their own assessment. Learn to accept and quit complaining.

  7. Joe Bailey, July 12, 2010 at 3:14 p.m.

    I agree with Mr. Holden completely. I guess that anyone who has a different viewpoint than everyone else on the Spain bandwagon, it must be whining or complaining...

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