Why the Dutch football team is often called Holland even though the country is the Netherlands
The Netherlands are back at the World Cup for the first time in eight years after qualifying for the tournament in Qatar.
The Dutch finished second and then third at the 2010 and 2014 editions before embarrassingly missing out on Russia 2018.
The European giants have bounced back in style since and arrived in Qatar unbeaten in their ten games this year, and they start their campaign live on talkSPORT2 against Senegal later today.
But in their absence from the world stage, fans may have forgotten that Louis van Gaal’s side go by several different names.
The country itself remains called the Netherlands, but their national team has taken on the nicknames of Holland and Oranje.
North Holland and South Holland are both provinces in the west of the Netherlands, the former where the country’s capital, Amsterdam, is located.
In history, seven provinces that made up the region that is now the Netherlands – Holland, Groningen, Friesland, Overijssel, Gelderland, Utrecht and Zeeland – formed an alliance against Spain in the late 1500s.
This alliance became known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands for almost 200 years between 1579 and 1795.
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Holland was the most dominant party as it was the biggest contributor to the overall economy and wealth of the Netherlands.
In 1806, Napoleon forced the Dutch government to accept his brother Louis Bonaparte as the monarch who founded the Kingdom of Holland.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands later emerged from Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Yet those who dealt in trade with the country often continued to deal with the province of Holland, which led to it being commonly used as a nickname for the whole country from now on.
Fast forward to 2019, the Dutch government has publicly decided to stop describing itself as Holland.
Their real name, the Netherlands, has only been used in any official setting since as part of an attempt to update its global image.
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