The first ever match between the Netherlands and Spain was a final at the most important football tournament of the time, at the first Olympic Games after the Great War. Unfortunately, it was not played for the gold medals, as both had been beaten by eventual winners Belgium, Spain in the quarterfinals and the Netherlands in the semifinals. However, due to the peculiar set-up of the tournament, both then entered the (separate) tournament for the silver and bronze medals (for which final losers Czechoslovakia were disqualified after they had walked off at 0-2 down) and met in the final, the Iberians winning 3-1 and the Dutch collecting the bronze medals for the third time in succession.
The next six decades saw the two countries only meet in three friendlies, but then they were paired together in a qualifying group for the 1984 European Championship in France. They exchanged home wins, and both dropped only one other point (Spain in Ireland, the Netherlands in Iceland), so goal difference (and that being equal, goals scored) would prove the decisive tie-breaker. Spain faced Malta in their final home match, knowing they needed to win by eleven goals. It was only 3-1 at half-time but helped by some rather suspect Maltese defending Spain scored nine in the second half...
Three further friendlies followed over the next quarter of a century until the two met again in a competitive match – and they don't get any bigger than a World Cup final. Oranje had reached that final with a perfect record (eight wins from eight qualifying matches and six straight wins, all in regulation time, at the final tournament in South Africa), playing some pretty decent (if not exactly scintillating) football in the process, but forgot to do so in the final (Nigel de Jong providing the iconic but ugly image of the night with his reckless karate kick) and were punished four minutes before the end of extra time. Some sort of revenge was exacted four years later in Brazil, but again that first World Cup proved elusive.
All matches listed are friendlies unless otherwise stated.
Game Date Venue Result Remark 1. 5- 9-1920 Antwerpen Netherlands 1-3 Spain [Olympic Games] 2. 30- 1-1957 Madrid Spain 5-1 Netherlands 3. 2- 5-1973 Amsterdam Netherlands 3-2 Spain 4. 23- 1-1980 Vigo Spain 1-0 Netherlands 5. 16- 2-1983 Sevilla Spain 1-0 Netherlands [European Champ. Qual.] 6. 16-11-1983 Rotterdam Netherlands 2-1 Spain [European Champ. Qual.] 7. 21- 1-1987 Barcelona Spain 1-1 Netherlands 8. 15-11-2000 Sevilla Spain 1-2 Netherlands 9. 27- 3-2002 Rotterdam Netherlands 1-0 Spain 10. 11- 7-2010 Johannesburg Spain 1-0 Netherlands [World Cup, aet] 11. 13- 6-2014 Salvador Spain 1-5 Netherlands [World Cup] 12. 31- 3-2015 Amsterdam Netherlands 2-0 Spain 13. 11-11-2020 Amsterdam Netherlands 1-1 Spain
Total record: Netherlands 13 6 2 5 19- 18 14 Spain 13 5 2 6 18- 19 12 Some more stats: Pd N D S NG- SG In the Netherlands: 5 4 1 0 9- 4 In Spain: 5 1 1 3 4- 9 Elsewhere: 3 1 0 2 6- 5
Netherlands - List of International Matches
Spain - List of International Matches
Prepared and maintained by Karel Stokkermans for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
Author: Karel Stokkermans
Last updated: 26 Sep 2022
(C) Copyright Karel Stokkermans and RSSSF 2016/22
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