Ruud Gullit is a Dutch former football player. Considered one of the greatest players in the history of football, Gullit was known for his versatility as he could play as an attacking midfielder, forward, or midfielder. During the 1988 UEFA European Football Championship, he led his national team to its first title.
Dutch footballer Virgil van Dijk plays as a defender for Liverpool and has won several titles, such as a Premier League, with them. Starting his senior career with Groningen, he later played for teams such as Celtic and Southampton. He is the only defender to be named the UEFA Men's Player of the Year.
Once one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, Dutch football coach and retired footballer Robin van Persie is also known as one of the greatest strikers of his time. He had successful stints with Arsenal and Manchester United and was also part of the Dutch squad that was the 2010 FIFA World Cup runner-up.
Dutch football coach and retired player Dennis Bergkamp had a successful playing career with clubs such as Ajax, Arsenal, and Inter Milan. Initially a midfielder, he later played as a striker. The 2-time FIFA World Player of the Year bronze winner also gained the nickname the Non-Flying Dutchman for his fear of flying.
Widely considered one of the best Dutch soccer players of all time, Arjen Robben is known for his long-range shots, ball control, speed, and dribbling skills. He helped his national team reach the finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which they lost to Spain.
Dutch footballer Memphis Depay is best known as a forward for Barcelona. Starting his senior career with PSV Eindhoven, he later also played for Manchester United and Lyon. He was also part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup third-place-winning Dutch squad and was the Eredivisie top scorer in 2014-15.
Wim Hof, or The Iceman, is a Dutch extreme athlete and motivational speaker who holds a Guinness record for the fastest half-marathon completed barefoot on ice/snow. He has also devised the Wim Hof Method, which helps one gain control over one’s body through extreme cold tolerance.
Patrick Kluivert was one of the star Dutch footballers of his time who played as a striker for clubs such as Ajax, Barcelona, and AC Milan. The UEFA Euro 2000 Golden Boot winner has also managed teams such as Netherlands and Cameroon. He later held administrative positions at Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.
Dutch footballer Georginio Wijnaldum plays as a midfielder for the Italian club Roma and the French club Paris Saint-Germain. Starting his youth career with Feyenoord, as the youngest-ever player of the club, he later had successful stints with Liverpool and PSV and was the 2014 FIFA World Cup third-place-winning Dutch squad.
Dutch footballer Hakim Ziyech, or The Wizard, now represents Chelsea as an attacking midfielder/winger. After beginning his senior career with Heerenveen, he had a successful stint with Ajax, winning titles such as the Eredivisie with them. After representing the Dutch youth teams earlier, he now plays for the Moroccan national team.
Dutch footballer Matthijs de Ligt currently plays for Serie A club Juventus and the Netherlands national team as a center-back. Making his debut in 2016, he became the youngest player ever to play in a major European final the following year. Football pundits consider him to among the most highly regarded young prospects in world football.
Retired Dutch footballer Wesley Sneijder was known as one of the best midfielders of his time. Starting his senior career with Ajax, he later had successful stints with Real Madrid, Inter Milan, and Galatasaray. He was also part of the Dutch squad that became the 2010 FIFA World Cup runner-up.
Ajax CEO and retired Dutch footballer Edwin van der Sar began his senior career with Ajax, winning countless titles with them, such as the Eredivisie and the UEFA Champion’s League. The talented goalkeeper later had successful stints with Juventus, Fulham, and Manchester United. He has also been a 2-time Best European Goalkeeper.
Retired Dutch footballer Louis van Gaal was a midfielder and now serves the Dutch national team as its head coach. While he began his playing career with Ajax, he later had an immensely successful managerial career with Ajax, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich, and was named the 1995 World Soccer Manager of the Year.
Moroccan-Dutch kickboxer Badr Hari, also known as Bad Boy and The Golden Boy, has won the K-1 Heavyweight and Showtime Heavyweight championships. He represented the Netherlands until his loss to Stefan Leko, after which he began playing for Morocco, due to aggressive criticism from his Dutch fans.
Dutch footballer Ryan Babel who plays as both a striker and a midfielder, currently represents the Turkish club Eyüpspor. Starting his senior career with Ajax, he won both the KNVB Cup and the Eredivisie twice with them. He was also part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup runner-up Dutch team.
Born in the Netherlands, to 2-time Indianapolis 500 champion Arie Luyendyk, Arie Luyendyk Jr. moved to the US with his family at age 3. He followed in his father’s footsteps to enter the arena of auto racing. He later gained fame with his appearance on The Bachelorette and his romance with Lauren Burnham.
Retired Dutch footballer Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who played as a striker, had successful stints with club such as Ajax and Schalke 04, winning the KNVB Cup thrice with the former, among other championships. He was also part of the Dutch squad that became the runner-up at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Dutch football coach and retired footballer Jaap Stam is regarded as one of the greatest defenders of his time. Starting his senior career with FC Zwolle, he later had successful stints with clubs such as Manchester United, Ajax, and PSV. Post-retirement, he has also coached teams such as Reading and PEC Zwolle.
Bas Rutten is a Dutch–American actor, former kickboxer, mixed martial artist, and professional wrestler. A former UFC Heavyweight Champion and a King of Pancrase world champion, Rutten finished his career on a high as he remained unbeaten for the last 22 fights of his career. In 2015, Bas Rutten was made an inductee of the UFC Hall of Fame.
Dutch footballer Maarten Stekelenburg, the goalkeeper for Ajax, has had a successful stint with the club, winning both the Eredivisie and the KNVB Cup with them 4 times. He was also part of the Dutch squad that became the runner-up at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Dutch formerfootball player Ronald Koeman was one of the stars of the Netherlands national team during his playing days. After his retirement, he became a professional football manager and is currently the head coach of La Liga club Barcelona. Tremendously successful as a head coach, he was made the manager of Barcelona in 2020.
Born in Suriname, footballer Edgar Davids moved to the Netherlands as an infant and grew up to start his youth football career with Ajax. The retired Dutch defensive midfielder had successful stints with Ajax, Juventus, and Inter Milan. He also played for the Dutch national team, which he now serves as an assistant coach.
Retired Moroccan-Dutch footballer Ibrahim Afellay played as an attacking midfielder/winger. Starting his senior career with PSV Eindhoven, he later had successful stints with Barcelona and Olympiacos. He was also part of the Dutch squad that became the runner-up at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Clarence Seedorf is a Dutch former football player. Widely considered one of the best midfielders of his era, Seedorf was included in Pelé's FIFA 100 list in 2004. Having won several continental and domestic titles for clubs in the Netherlands, Brazil, Italy, and Spain, Clarence Seedorf is one of the most celebrated and decorated Dutch players of all time.
Dutch football coach and former footballer Dick Advocaat was a midfielder and defender in his playing days. He was 18 when he began his senior career and later had successful stints with clubs such as PSV Eindhoven and Rangers. His 2008 UEFA Cup with with Zenit earned him an honorary citizenship of St. Petersburg.
Retired Dutch racing driver Jos Verstappen, who had an illustrious career with Formula One, had begun his career with karting at age 8. He raced for 7 teams, including Benetton and Minardi. He later turned to coaching and trained his son Max Verstappen, who became a Formula One World Champion in 2021.
Touted by the media as The King of Kickboxing, Dutch kickboxer Rico Verhoeven is the current Glory Heavyweight Champion. Inspired by his karate black belt father, he stepped into martial arts at age 5 and was competing against adults by age 16 due to his huge frame.