While international soccer in many ways unites the world, it can also be very divisive. National and club loyalties can create temporary (or sometimes lasting) rifts between friends, family, and apparently even members of royalty. Wednesday’s World Cup semifinal between Argentina and the Netherlands looks to be no exception, particularly for the Dutch royal family.
The potential for disharmony in the House of Orange looms large between Netherlands King Willem-Alexander and his wife, Queen Maxima, who was born in, wait for it . . . Argentina.
So far, Maxima, who was raised in Buenos Aires but is a naturalized Dutchwoman, has been publicly very supportive of the Netherlands World Cup team. Earlier in the tournament she flew to Porto Alegre with her husband to watch the Oranje’s group stage clash with Australia. After the hard fought Dutch victory, the King and Queen visited the team in the changing rooms to offer congratulations to the players and coach Louis van Gaal.
A former member of the International Olympic Committee, King Willem is well known for supporting Dutch athletes in international competitions and has been regularly seen at the Olympics cheering on Holland. Since their marriage in 2002, the very popular Maxima has frequently been seen alongside her husband, enthusiastically rooting for the athletes of her adopted country.
But while the Dutch government has confirmed the royal couple won’t be attending Wednesday’s match in Sao Paulo, it remains to be seen just how enthusiastically Maxima will be supporting the Netherlands team, as it prepares for its sternest test yet against Lionel Messi and Argentina.
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