Crystal Palace
Game Details

Sympathy for Dick Advocaat

Marcotti's Musings

UEFA Nations League next gen: Sancho, Barella, Ndombele, Suso, Bergwijn

Ross Dyer and Paul Mariner face off ahead of the latest round of UEFA Nations League qualifiers.

The switch from international friendlies to the new UEFA Nations League has prompted concerns that managers will be less inclined to blood untested youngsters. With points on offer, promotion to be gained and relegation to avoid, it makes sense for coaches to prioritise results over development.

There are, however, some extremely talented young players amongst Europe's major nations at the moment. Here are five who might make their competitive debut in this round of Nations League fixtures.


Wesley Sneijder given brilliant Netherlands shirt to mark international retirement

After 15 years of toil, Wesley Sneijder called time on his international career at the weekend when he made his 134th and final appearance for Netherlands.

Sneijder left the pitch to a standing ovation during a 2-1 win over Peru in Amsterdam before being subjected to a slightly strange post-match ceremony that involved a faux living room (complete with a sofa, television, pot plants and teapots) being set up in the centre circle.

The veteran midfielder was then joined by his wife and children as...

Wesley Sneijder says goodbye to Netherlands as one of the greatest ever

After helping Netherlands beat 2-1 Peru in the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam, Wesley Sneijder spent part of his final evening on the international stage sat on a sofa with his wife (Yolanthe Sneijder-Cabau, who you may know from her role in the Michael Bay blockbuster "Pain & Gain") and kids in the middle of the pitch.

The Dutch FA had put a TV there in a mocked up living room. On the screen, his former managers Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, as well as former teammates Rafael van der Vaart,...

Top 10 World Cup memories: No. 10 - Netherlands 2 Ivory Coast 1

Robin Van Persie scored Netherlands' opener from a free kick.
Robin van Persie scored Netherlands' opener from a free-kick.

In this special 10-part series, ESPN's Jayaditya Gupta, who has attended every World Cup since 2002, recalls his favourite matches from the tournament. First up, it's Netherlands vs. Ivory Coast from 2006, when two attacking teams produced some scintillating football in Stuttgart.

The context

A Group C match, with Ivory Coast needing points having lost their opening match of the tournament. Netherlands came in with three points on the board.

The match

Earlier in the day, in Gelsenkirchen, Argentina...

 By Chris Wright

Virgil van Dijk, Netherlands teammates face darts star Michael van Gerwen

With a couple of friendlies coming up, Netherlands invited a special guest along to their training camp on Monday to help the players keep their eye in.

Ronald Koeman welcomed darts champion Michael van Gerwen to the centre in Vlijmen and it wasn't long before Virgil van Dijk and Kevin Strootman were grabbing photos with the 29-year-old.

According to Omroep Brabant, Wout Weghorst showed the most dart prowess on the day, with the AZ striker managing to win one leg against Van Gerwen.

"It was fun...


After World Cup failure, what now for Italy, U.S., Chile and Netherlands?

Brad Guzan joins Taylor Twellman in the ESPN FC Heineken Boot Room bus to talk all angles of the USMNT's World Cup qualifying debacle.
With 100 days to go until the FIFA World Cup, Ian Darke joins a group of ESPN writers and experts for a roundtable discussion about what to expect in Russia this summer.

Several powerhouses won't be present when the World Cup begins. How are Italy, the U.S., Chile and Netherlands dealing with their failure to qualify and what happens next?

What is the biggest issue facing the national team?


The choice of manager to replace Giampiero Ventura. Unable to elect a new president, the FIGC is under the emergency supervision of CONI, Italy's Olympic Committee. Alessandro Costacurta has the job of picking the new coach -- and setting the agenda of reform --...