This Friday, Italy and Turkey will play the opening match of the European Championship. The Dutch national team is back for the first time since 2012. In the period before that, the Orange squad played a number of memorable European Championship games. Today: the painful defeat in and against England.
The run-up to the third group match at the 1996 European Championship against host country England was tumultuous. The first game against Scotland ended in 0-0 and after the 2-0 win against Switzerland, a bomb exploded in the selection.
Clarence Seedorf was substituted within half an hour in that match. Much to the dismay of banker Edgar Davids. He was furious with national coach Guus Hiddink and made that known in harsh terms to the foreign press. The national coach did not accept that and he sent Davids home.
This incident sparked off the discussion about ‘the cable’. An alleged separation between black and white players in the selection of the Dutch national team. While this discussion continued, the Netherlands had to force a spot in the next round against England. The match at Wembley was no less turbulent than the preparation. They lost 4-1.
In the next round, the quarterfinals, the Netherlands was eliminated after penalties by the France of Laurent Blanc, Zinedine Zidane and the current French national coach Didier Deschamps. Clarence Seedorf was the only player to miss a penalty in the penalty shootout.
Germany won the tournament after beating the Czech Republic 2-1 in the final. Oliver Bierhoff scored in the regular game and scored the golden goal in extra time.