For today’s final group stage match against Chile, Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has fielded a team with no players whose name contains “Van” in the squad. This is the first time a Dutch lineup has been Van-less since 1996.
Although Van Gaal’s name obviously contains the prefix that's common in Dutch surnames, no player in the starting lineup nor even on the bench today has a name that contains Van.
Van is a Dutch preposition that translates as “of” or “from.”
This situation is partially the result of Robin van Persie being suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Were the Man United striker, who is currently tied for joint top scorer at the 2014 World Cup, available for selection, he would likely have been included in the squad.
Although the Dutch squad has already qualified for the round of 16, Van Gaal is still hoping to steer his charges toward their third consecutive win in the tournament and secure the top spot in Group B.
The last time Holland fielded a team with no "Van" in the lineup was for a friendly against China on May 29, 1996, some 221 matches ago.
The last time the Dutch played in a World Cup without a "Van" in the team was at the 1994 World Cup, against Belgium.
The Netherlands lineup against Chile: Cillessen, Janmaat, Vlaar, De Vrij, Blind, Wijnald, De Jong, Kuyt, Sneijder, Robben, Lens
Subs: Krul, Huntelaar, Verhaeg, de Guzman, Vorm, Fer, Clasie, Martins, Depay
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