Five reasons behind Dutch men's revival

The Netherlands -- which went from second at the 2010 World Cup and third at the 2014 World Cup to nowhere to be found at Euro 2016 and the World Cup 2018 -- is back.

The Dutch won its group in the new UEFA Nations League, finishing ahead of 2018 World Cup champion France, which it beat, 2-0, on Friday, and 2014 World Cup champion Germany, which it tied, 2-2, with two goals in the last five minutes on Monday.

Here are five reasons behind the Dutch revival ...

1. Ajax talent. Dutch national team coach Ronald Koeman says the willingness of Dutch clubs to play young players has kept the talent pool from going dry. Frenkie de Jong, 21, and Matthijs de Ligt, 19, epitomize the young talent still coming through the famed Ajax youth program.

De Jong made his first international start on Friday against France and was the best player on the field in Rotterdam, dominating in midfield. Big European clubs have taken notice. Manchester City is reportedly ready to offer up to $80 million for De Jong.

De Ligt started at 17 when Ajax reached the 2016 Europa League final and now captains Ajax. Barcelona is considered the favorite to land him.

2. Cupboard wasn't bare. Stars from the 2014 World Cup team like Wesley Sneijder, Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben are no longer part of the team, but the cupboard wasn't completely bare.

Jasper Cillessen, Daley Blind and Georginio Wijnaldum, starters in Brazil, are still around, as well as are Memphis Depay, and 31-year-old Ryan Babel, the only player on the current team who is over 30.

Virgil van Dijk, who scored the late equalizer against Germany, didn't debut for the Dutch until 2015 but he is at the age of 27 one of Europe's top defenders.

3. Ronald Koeman. The Dutch federation (KNVB) got lucky. Koeman was fired by Everton in October 2017, making him available to lead the rebuilding effort.

He was the perfect choice, a coach with great pride in the program, having starred on for the Oranje when they won Euro 1998, and tons of experience at the top level in the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and England.

4. New campus. Koeman credits the reforms made by KNVB in restoring pride in the national team.

The Oranje moved to the KNVB Campus at federation headquarters in Zeist after using for more than 30 years the Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin in Noordwijk, where national team camps had a reputation for their party atmosphere

The new home is all business -- with training fields, state-of-the-art facilities and a hotel the team uses during its camp.

5. Humility. After finishing fourth in its group for Euro 2016 qualifying and third in its group for 2018 World Cup qualifying, the national team had to assess where it was.

Koeman says the success of the popular Oranje women -- the Euro 2017 champions who regularly draw sell-out crowds at home -- was a model for the men.

Sometimes a little humility goes a long way.

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