Belanda X Indonesia connection
The Netherlands are quite famous when it comes to their national team, but did you know many Dutch players have Indonesian roots? Indonesia only ranks 173th in the official FIFA rankings and it’s fair to say their national team isn’t one with international allure. But that doesn’t mean their DNA doesn’t bring forward many talented football players.
Many of those players that have Indonesian blood running trough their veins were born and raised in The Netherlands or former Dutch-East Indies, but from parents with Indonesian, Malukan or Surinam-Javanese roots. Due to the historical connection between The Netherlands and Indonesia, many of those professional football players represented the Dutch national team and their national top teams like Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV. Ever wondered what kind of team you could compose out of these players? Well it’s your lucky day! As we created the best possible team with Dutch players with Indonesian roots for you!
1. Just Göbels
2. Jaïro Riedewald
On the rightback position we’ve got Jaïro Riedewald. The former Ajax defender, currently defends the colours of Crystal Palace in the English Premier League. His father is from Suriname while his mom is of Indonesian descent. So far Riedewald has played 3 international games for the national team of Holland.
3. Sonny Silooy
In the hearth of the center you find Ajax legend Sonny Silooy. He knew quite some successes with the club from Amsterdam, back in the 80’s. He managed to rack up 7 national championship titles, 4 national cups, 3 European supercups, 1 Champions League title, 1 UEFA cup title, the UEFA Super Cup and the World Cup for clubteams! Besides that he represented Holland 25 times as an international. Unfortunately for him, he missed out on winning the European Cup due to a broken eye socket.
4. John Heitinga
Complementing the centre of defence with Silooy, is John Heitinga. One of the players in the team that has an outspoken, positive relationship with his heritage. His father was born in Jakarta and he was given lontong before international games. Heitinga had an impressive career in which he represented Ajax, Atlético Madrid, Everton, Fulham and Hertha BSC. Besides that he played 87 games as an international and came close to becoming a World Cup winner in 2010. He retired in 2015-2016 and is currently the coach of Ajax Youth teams.
5. Giovanni Van Bronckhorst
Who doesn’t remember Van Bronckhorst’s magical goal versus Uruguay in the semi-final of the 2010 World Cup. As a captain and valuable leftback, he played 106 games as a Dutch international. Besides that, he played for impressive clubs like Feyenoord, Glasgow Rangers, Arsenal and Barcelona where he became League Champion with Glasgow and Arsenal and the absolute highlight of his career was lifting the Champions League cup with Barcelona in 2005-2006. He couldn’t be left out on this list as a son of a mother from Malucan origins.
6. Nigel De Jong
Next up is Nigel “Karate Kid” De Jong. A nickname he adopted after high-hitting Xabi Alonso during the 2010 World Cup Final against Spain. But this nickname doesn’t serve right to the career of Nigel De Jong as he played for big clubs like Ajax, Hamburger SV, Manchester City and AC Milan during his career. A steady, defensive midfielder who does everything needed to secure a win for his team! Just like Van Bronckhorst his Indonesian blood stems from Maluku, as his mother was born in Ambon. He wore the orange jersey a respectable 81 times during his career.
7. Demy De Zeeuw
Another player on the list that finds his roots in Maluku is Demy De Zeeuw. The Apeldoorn born De Zeeuw played most matches in his career for Alkmaar’s AZ before representing Ajax, Spartak Moscow, Anderlecht and closing off at NAC Breda. He played 27 international games for Holland between 2007-2010.
8. Denny Landzaat
The list of players from Moluccan descent just doesn’t stop. Denny Landzaat played most of his career in the Dutch Eredivisie for clubs such as: Feyenord, Willem II, AZ & FC Twente. Besides that he was lined up to sing the Dutch national anthem for a total of 38 games.
9. Robin Van Persie
Perhaps the biggest star in our starting eleven is the all time top scorer for the Netherlands national team, The “Flying Dutchman” Robin Van Persie. With 50 goals in 102 matches he played a big role in his nation football history. A graceful striker who managed to score many beauty’s for Feyenoord, Arsenal, Manchester United and Fenerbahçe during his career.
10. Roy Makaay
The deadly striker nicknamed as “Das Phantom” because of his ability to score out of nowhere has Molucan blood running trough his veins as his mom is from Ambon. He is the current record holder for the fastest Champions League goal in history(10,12 seconds). A consistent goal scorer for Vitesse, Tenerife, Deportivo La Coruña, Bayern Munich and Feyenoord. His international career was less successful with 6 goals in 43 appearances.
11. Simon Tahamata
The final player that made the starting 11 is former Ajax left winger Simon Tahamata. Just like many other players in the squad, the roots of Tahamata are on the Moluccas. A player who was loved among fans for his attitude and charism, during the years he played for Ajax, Standard Liège, Beerschot and Feyenoord. On the international stage he made 22 appearances for the Dutch Lions.
Coach: André Wetzel
Defense: Jeffrey Leuwakabessy, Kenny Tete and Wilfred Bouma
Midfield: Navarone Foor, Sergio Van Dijk
Striker: Michael Mols and Beb Bakhuys
Honorable Mention – Radja Nainggolan
Because the team only consists out of players with Dutch nationality who have Indonesian roots he didn’t make the team. But as one of the star midfielders in the Italian Seria A, he deserves a honorable mention, as Radja Nainggolan is a Belgian citizen, but if he was from Holland he would have definitely made it into the starting 11. Nainggolan’s father is an Indonesian of Batak background, an ethnicity group mostly found on the island of Sumatra. He was one of the star midfielders of AS Roma before making a move to Inter Milan and currently plays on loan for Cagliari. He has 30 caps for the Belgium national team
Do you think this team had good chances on winning the World Cup? Or do you feel we missed any important players? Let us know in the comment section below! Besides that we made a top 10 of Remarkable Foreign players in the Liga 1 Indonesia. Curious? Click on the link.