Germany and Netherlands football rivalry
The Netherlands national football team has rivalry with the Germany national football team which has its origins in the brutal occupation of the Netherlands by Germany during the Second World War.
In the 1974 FIFA World Cup the Netherlands lost to West Germany in the final despite being favoured, which caused a national trauma.
In the semifinal of UEFA Euro 1988, played in Hamburg, Germany, Marco van Basten slid the winning goal in the last minute past the German keeper. After the game Ronald Koeman of the Netherlands pretended to wipe his backside with Olaf Thon's jersey, something he regretted later which caused relations to worsen between the two sides. Many Dutch fans celebrated, singing "In 1940 they came - in 1988 we came". The Dutch proceeded to win the final against the Soviet Union. When the team returned to the Netherlands and were celebrated in the capital Amsterdam, headcoach Rinus Michels told the crowd "We won the tournament, but we all know that the semi-final was the real final".
There was also the game in the Round of 16 in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, where the Netherlands' Frank Rijkaard spat a number of times on Rudi Völler, with Völler being accused of diving. Both players were sent off. Germany went on to claim victory thanks to Jürgen Klinsmann and Andreas Brehme's goals, and eventually became World Champions.
When the Dutch failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, Germans fans often rejoiced with singing "Ohne Holland fahr'n wir zur WM" ("Without Holland we're going to the World Cup") and displayed banners reading "Über Japan lacht die Sonne, über Holland die ganze Welt" ("The sun's smiling over Japan [co-host country of the tournament], the whole world's laughing at Holland"). In the 2006 World Cup documentary Deutschland. Ein Sommermärchen, the early elimination of the Dutch team is illustrated by showing an Autobahn sign "Netherlands, exit right". After the elimination of Germany in Euro 2004, Dutch supporters went to the German fan zone and hung up a sign saying "Zimmer Frei" ("Open vacancy" in German). When Germany hosted the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Dutch musicians de Toppers scored a hit in the Netherlands with the song "Wir Sind die Holländer" which heavily referenced the rivalry between the countries, including the fact that many Dutch still mockingly complain about the Germans "stealing our bikes", referring to Nazi Germany confiscating Dutch bikes during World War II. The Dutch supporters are also known to chant "Jetzt geht's los" to the German side, literally meaning "Now it starts.", but carrying competitive overtones of, "It's on now!" or "Bring it on!"
In the recent years, many of the Netherlands' more prolific younger players have plied their trade in the Bundesliga at one time or another including Rafael Van der Vaart, Joris Mathijsen and Nigel de Jong (Hamburg), Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich), Khalid Boulahrouz (VfB Stuttgart) and Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich).