• The Netherlands and the Czech Republic produced one of the tournament’s most memorable group stage games at UEFA EURO 2004 and now meet in the knockout stage for the first time at Budapest’s Puskás Aréna in the third round of 16 tie at UEFA EURO 2020.
• The Netherlands eased through Group C, winning all three games at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruijff ArenA and scoring eight goals in the process, making them the overall top scorers in the group stage. The Czechs, in contrast, qualified as one of the four best third-placed sides, finishing behind England and Croatia in Group D with four points.
• The winners of this tie will take on Wales or Denmark in the quarter-finals in Baku on 3 July.
• The Czech Republic have won five of their 11 matches against the Netherlands (D3 L3), including the last two, at home (2-1) – Stefan de Vrij scoring the visitors’ goal – and away (3-2) in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying. A Robin van Persie own goal gave the away side the points at the Johan Cruijff ArenA and ended the Netherlands’ hopes of reaching the finals.
• Pavel Kadeřábek scored the Czechs’ first goal in Amsterdam, with Vladimír Darida playing 90 minutes, Tomáš Kalas coming on as a substitute and Tomáš Koubek and Tomáš Vaclík unused Czech replacements. Georginio Wijnaldum, Daley Blind and Memphis Depay all played 90 minutes for the Dutch.
• Matěj Vydra played in the Czechs’ 2-1 win in Prague alongside Kadeřábek and Darida, with Wijnaldum, De Vrij, Blind and Depay all featuring for the Netherlands.
• The Dutch had won 2-0 in Amsterdam and Prague in the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.
• This is the sides’ third meeting in a EURO final tournament, current Netherlands coach Frank de Boer scoring the only goal from the penalty spot in the group stage of UEFA EURO 2000 in Amsterdam.
• Four years later, the Czechs came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in Aveiro in the UEFA EURO 2004 group stage. Wilfred Bouma (4) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (19) gave the Dutch an early two-goal cushion but Jan Koller (23) and Milan Baroš (71) brought the Czechs back on terms before Vladimír Šmicer’s 88th-minute winner.
• Czechoslovakia came out on top in their only knockout tie against the Netherlands, in the semi-finals of their victorious 1976 UEFA European Championship campaign. Czechoslovakia’s Anton Ondruš scored at each end in normal time before extra-time goals from Zdeněk Nehoda (114) and František Veselý (118) ended Dutch hopes. That is the only previous knockout contest between the Netherlands and the Czech Republic/Czechoslovakia.
EURO facts: Netherlands
• The Netherlands have appeared in nine previous UEFA European Championship final tournaments; they missed out on UEFA EURO 2016, the first time they had not featured in a EURO since 1984.
• Champions in 1988 – their sole major international trophy – the Netherlands finished third at the 1976 UEFA European Championship and also reached the semi-finals in 1992, 2000 as co-hosts and 2004. Their last knockout appearance came in 2008, when they lost to Russia after extra time in the quarter-finals.
• On their last EURO appearance, in 2012, a team coached by Bert van Marwijk finished bottom of a group including Portugal, Germany and Denmark without a point; that made it four consecutive final tournament defeats.
• The Oranje finished fourth in their UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying group behind the Czech Republic, Iceland and Turkey.
• This is the first time the Netherlands have featured in a European Championship or World Cup since finishing third at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
• The Dutch did, however, reach the final of the first UEFA Nations League in 2019, beating England 3-1 after extra time in the semi-finals only to lose 1-0 to hosts Portugal in the final.
• Ronald Koeman’s side finished second behind Germany in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying Group C, picking up 19 points from their eight matches (W6 D1 L1). Koeman was replaced as coach by De Boer in September 2020.
• De Boer has overseen three wins from three at UEFA EURO 2020, his side beating Ukraine 3-2 on Matchday 1 – a game in which they had led 2-0 – before victories against Austria (2-0), which secured progress with a game to spare, and North Macedonia (3-0).
• Depay provided eight assists in qualifying, more than any other player. Having scored six himself, he played a direct role in 58% of the Netherlands’ 24 goals. He also scored against Austria from the penalty spot on Matchday 2 at the finals and provided another goal and two more assists against North Macedonia.
• Having managed ten goals in his first 53 international appearances, Wijnaldum hit eight in seven qualifying outings to finish as the Netherlands’ top scorer, and opened the scoring in the Matchday 1 defeat of Ukraine. He then added two more goals against North Macedonia.
• This is the Netherlands’ first visit to Hungary since a 4-1 win at the Ferenc Puskás Stadium on 11 September 2012 in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. That made their record in the country W4 D1 L2, all against Hungary and all in Budapest. The four wins have come on their last four visits.
• This is the Netherlands’ first match at the Puskás Aréna although all but their first game in Hungary took place at the Népstadion, later the Ferenc Puskás Stadium, which was demolished in 2016 to make way for the new stadium that opened three years later.
EURO facts: Czech Republic
• The Czech Republic have qualified for every EURO final tournament since Czechoslovakia split in 1993.
• They won the competition as part of Czechoslovakia in 1976 and reached the final in their first appearance as the Czech Republic in 1996, losing 2-1 to Germany.
• The Czech Republic also reached the semi-finals at UEFA EURO 2004 and the quarter-finals eight years later.
• In 2016, the Czechs finished bottom of their group having picked up one point from three games. Losses to Spain (0-1) and Turkey (0-2) sandwiched a 2-2 draw against Croatia in which the Czechs had rallied from two goals down. That was the only time they had avoided defeat – or found the net – in their last four EURO finals games prior to Matchday 1.
• Jaroslav Šilhavý’s charges qualified for UEFA EURO 2020 as Group A runners-up behind England. A 5-0 loss at Wembley in their first fixture was one of three defeats the Czechs suffered in qualifying, although five wins ensured they finished with 15 points, four above third-placed Kosovo.
• At UEFA EURO 2020 itself, the Czechs opened with a 2-0 win against Scotland before a 1-1 draw against Croatia, both games at Hampden Park in Glasgow and all three of their goals scored by Patrik Schick. They were top of Group D going into Matchday 3, but a 1-0 loss to England at Wembley left them in third place.
• Although the Czech Republic have never played at the Puskás Aréna, this is their 19th game in Hungary, all in Budapest and all against the home side. Their overall record in the country as Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic is W2 D3 L15; their last visit was a 1-1 friendly draw in August 2013 at the Ferenc Puskás Stadium.
• Czechoslovakia’s record at the Ferenc Puskás Stadium, formerly the Népstadion, was W1 D1 L4; that 2013 draw was the Czech Republic’s only game at the ground.
Links and trivia
• Have played together:
Luuk de Jong & Tomáš Vaclík (Sevilla 2019–21)
Quincy Promes & Alex Král (Spartak Moskva 2021–)
• Current Czech Republic coach Jaroslav Šilhavý was Karel Brückner’s assistant for the comeback win against the Netherlands at UEFA EURO 2004.
• De Vrij was in the Internazionale side that drew 1-1 at home to Slavia Praha and won 3-1 away in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League group stage. Vladimír Coufal, Jan Bořil, Lukáš Masopust and Tomáš Souček all played in both games for Slavia.
• Frenkie de Jong also encountered Slavia in that season’s group stage, his Barcelona side winning 2-1 away before a 0-0 home draw; Masopust, Souček, Coufal and Bořil plus Petr Ševčík all featured.
• Maarten Stekelenburg was in the Ajax team that lost 1-0 at home and 2-1 away against Slavia in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round as the Czech club reached the group stage for the first time.
• The Netherlands’ shoot-out record is W2 L5:
4-5 v Denmark, EURO ’92 semi-final
4-5 v France, EURO ’96 quarter-final
2-4 v Brazil, 1998 FIFA World Cup semi-final
1-3 v Italy, UEFA EURO 2000 semi-final
5-4 v Sweden, UEFA EURO 2004 quarter-final
4-3 v Costa Rica, 2014 FIFA World Cup quarter-final
2-4 v Argentina, 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-final
• The Czech Republic have won all of their three competitive penalty shoot-outs:
5-3 v West Germany, 1976 UEFA European Championship final (as Czechoslovakia)
9-8 v Italy, 1980 UEFA European Championship third-place play-off (as Czechoslovakia)
6-5 v France, EURO ’96 semi-finals
• The Matchday 3 win against Austria was the Netherlands’ eighth in their last ten matches, during which they have scored 29 goals – never less than two in any game. Their top-scoring group stage tally of eight goals was one more than Belgium, Italy and Portugal.
• Memphis Depay opened the scoring against North Macedonia with his 28th international goal, having also struck the Netherlands’ first, from the penalty spot, in the previous match against Austria. He has scored nine times in his last ten appearances for the Netherlands and now has four tournament goals, having scored twice – against Australia and Chile – at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He has joined his former Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman – and team-mate Frenkie de Jong – at Barcelona for the 2021/22 season.
• The Oranje needed a late free-kick equaliser from Depay – his second goal of the contest – to earn a 2-2 draw against Scotland in southern Portugal on 2 June, but their second pre-UEFA EURO 2020 friendly brought a 3-0 victory over Georgia in Enschede four days later. Depay scored again, with a penalty, before victory was secured in the second half with first international goals from Wout Weghorst and Ryan Gravenberch.
• Jurriën Timber, 19, made his senior debut for the Oranje against Scotland and also started against Georgia and Ukraine, while the game in Enschede brought a first appearance in the Netherlands goal since November 2016 for his Ajax team-mate, Maarten Stekelenburg, who in retaining his place throughout the group stage, has become, at the age of 38 years and 272 days, the Netherlands’ oldest ever tournament participant.
• Captain Georginio Wijnaldum’s two goals against North Macedonia, added to the one against Ukraine, lifted his all-time tally for the Netherlands to 25, putting him one ahead of Marco van Basten, while Weghorst’s strike against Ukraine was his second, in successive games, and Denzel Dumfries’s match-winning header his first, on his 20th appearance. Dumfries made it two goals in as many tournament appearances with the Oranje’s second against Austria.
• Timber, Stekelenburg, Gravenberch, Daley Blind and Davy Klaassen all won the Dutch league and cup double with Ajax in 2020/21. Other major trophy winners this year in the Dutch squad are Stefan de Vrij, who won the Italian title with Internazionale, Nathan Aké, a Premier League champion with Manchester City, and ex-Ajax pair Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong, who were domestic cup winners with Juventus and Barcelona respectively.
• Stekelenburg is the only member of the Netherlands UEFA EURO 2020 squad with previous EURO final tournament experience. He made one appearance in 2008 – a 2-0 win against Romania – and was the Oranje’s starting goalkeeper in all three of their matches – and defeats – at the 2012 tournament.
• Stekelenburg also kept goal for the Netherlands in all seven of their games at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, including the final. Four years later there were six other members of the Netherlands’ UEFA EURO 2020 squad present at the finals in Brazil – fellow goalkeeper Tim Krul, defenders Blind, De Vrij and Joël Veltman, midfielder Wijnaldum and forward Depay. Veltman was the only one of those five outfield players not to score at the tournament.
• Wijnaldum has started all of the Oranje’s last 17 games and made his 50th competitive appearance for his country against Austria. The Netherlands captain recently left Liverpool after five seasons to join Paris Saint-Germain.
• Donny van de Beek was a late withdrawal from the squad through injury. Coach Frank de Boer did not call up a replacement, leaving the Netherlands with 25 players.
• Patrik Schick has scored all three of the Czech Republic’s goals at UEFA EURO 2020, taking his overall international tally to 14 in 29 matches. He also scored in the team’s final pre-tournament warm-up fixture, a 3-1 win against Albania in Prague on 8 June, so, after drawing a blank in the 1-0 defeat by England, has four in his last four matches.
• The Czech Republic’s 2-0 win against Scotland is their only victory in seven EURO final tournament encounters (D2 L4) since they defeated Poland 1-0 on Matchday 3 at UEFA EURO 2012.
• Schick’s double against Scotland was only the third for the Czech Republic at a EURO final tournament, after Vladimír Šmicer in 2000 and Milan Baroš in 2004, who both scored twice against Denmark. Schick’s second goal was struck from a distance of 49.7 metres, the furthest out in EURO finals history.
• Lukáš Masopust and Ondřej Čelůstka also found the net in the friendly win against Albania – a result that ended a three-match winless run for the Czech Republic, who four days earlier had crashed to a 4-0 defeat against Italy in Bologna, a game in which Michal Sadílek came off the bench to make his international debut.
• There has been a major overhaul of the Czech squad in the five years since UEFA EURO 2016, with just three players remaining from that tournament in France – captain Vladimír Darida, goalkeeper Tomáš Vaclík and defender Pavel Kadeřábek. Another player with EURO finals experience is striker Tomáš Pekhart, who was a squad member alongside Darida in 2012. Other than Schick, no member of this year’s squad has ever scored a EURO finals goal.
• There are five players in Jaroslav Šilhavý’s selection from the Slavia Praha side that went unbeaten domestically in 2020/21, winning the Czech league and cup double, and also reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League – Masopust, Jan Bořil, Tomáš Holeš, Petr Ševčík and David Zima.
• Pekhart was also a Polish league title winner in the 2020/21 season with Legia Warszawa, topping the Ekstraklasa scoring charts with 22 goals, while fellow striker Michael Krmenčík spent the first half of the season with prospective Belgian champions Club Brugge before moving on loan to PAOK, with whom he won the Greek Cup, scoring the late winner in the final against champions Olympiacos.
• Sparta Praha’s 18-year-old striker Adam Hložek, the youngest member of Šilhavý’s squad and a substitute in all three group games, was the joint top scorer in the 2020/21 Czech Liga with 15 goals.
• Former Slavia players Tomáš Souček and Vladimír Coufal were both instrumental in helping West Ham United finish sixth in the Premier League to secure a place in next season’s UEFA Europa League group stage.