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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

The Dutch Connection

Updated: Jul 8

Holland is famous for its canals, windmills, cheese, beer, painters, rich historical past but not least for its football. Here is a brief summary of the Dutch players who have played in Italy and at Lazio.


The Dutch have an excellent football tradition. The "Oranje" have taken part in 11 World Cups and have been runners-up three times (1974, 1978 and 2010). They have also taken part in 10 European Championships and won it in 1988. In the current edition they have reached the semi finals Before the Euros Holland were ranked 6th by FIFA. 


At club level Holland have won six European Cups /Champions League; Feyenoord 1970, Ajax 1971, 1972, 1973, 1995, PSV Eindhoven 1988. The UEFA Cup/Europa League has been won by Dutch clubs three times; Feyenoord 1974, 2002, Ajax 1992.


Holland have had some great players, the best being Johan Cruijff. Others include Faas Wilkes, Arie Haan, Piet Keizer, Rob Rensenbrink, Johnny Rep, Johan Neeskens, Willem Van Hanegem, Ruud Krol, Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, Arjen Robben, Ronald Koeman, Dennis Bergkamp, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Robin Van Persie, Wesley Sneijder, Phillip Cocu, Patrick Kluivert and Marc Overmars.

Source Wikipedia

Many of these played in Italy plus many more. These include:



Francois Menno Knoote - Milan (1905-06). He won a Scudetto. He was also an opera singer.


1940' and 1950's

Faas Servaas Wilkes - midfielder /winger (Inter 1949-52, Torino 1952-53, 107 league games with 48 goals). He was known as "The Flying Tulip". He then went to Valencia.



Piet Kruiver - forward (Vicenza 1961-62, 17 league games with 1 goal). He then joined Feyenoord.


In 1966 Italy stopped foreign players coming due to the disastrous World Cup campaign.


The ‘borders’ re-opened in 1980-81.


1980's and 90's

René Van de Kerkhof - midfielder - Lazio - the one that got away.


Lazio bought him in the summer of 1980 and he arrived at the pre-season training camp. Lazio however were then relegated due to their involvement in the Totonero match fixing scandal. No foreign players were allowed in Serie B so René returned to where he came from, PSV Eindhoven.

Source Wikipedia

Aron Winter arrived at Lazio from Ajax in 1992. He stayed four seasons.


In 1992-93 the manager was Dino Zoff and Lazio finished 5th (UEFA Cup). Winter played 30 league games with 6 goals (Milan, Atalanta, Inter, Ancona, Torino, Napoli) and 6 in Coppa Italia with 2 goals (Cesena, Torino).


In 1993-94, still under Zoff, Lazio finished 4th (UEFA Cup). Winter played 34 league games with 4 goals (Udinese, Lecce, Udinese, Lecce), 2 games in Coppa Italia and 4 in the UEFA Cup with 1 goal (Boavista).


In 1994-95 Zdenek Zeman arrived as manager and Lazio finished 2nd (UEFA Cup). Winter played 29 league games with 5 goals (Napoli x2, Padova, Inter, Sampdoria), 6 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Napoli) and 8 games in Europe.


The 1995-96 season was his last. Lazio finished 3rd, under Zeman. Winter played 30 league games with 6 goals (Bari, Cremonese, Sampdoria, Atalanta x2, Fiorentina), 3 games in Coppa Italia and 4 in Europe with 1 goal (Olympique Marseille).


Winter was hugely popular at Lazio. He was elegant, efficient and classy. The whole stadium used to chant out his name, clearly contradicting the accusations of racism due to some anti-Jewish graffiti on a city wall connected with his persona (one piece of graffiti which of course for some media confirmed all Lazio fans' racism). Anyway, Winter was a great success at Lazio. He played a total of 162 games with 26 goals.


In 1996 he joined Inter where he stayed three seasons. Inter finished 3rd, 2nd and 8th.Winter played 76 league games, 16 in Coppa Italia and 26 in Europe. He scored a total of 3 goals at Inter and won a UEFA Cup (against Lazio).


In total in Italy he played 280 games (200 in A) with 29 goals. He then went back to Ajax.


Ruud Krol - defender (Napoli 1980-84, 107 league games with 1 goal).


Jan Peters - midfielder (Genoa 1982-85, 53 league games with 5 goals)


Michel van de Korput - defender (Torino 1983-85, 72 league games with 1 goal). He then went to Köln (Cologne).


Wim Kieft - forward (Pisa 1983-86, Torino 1986-87, 110 league games with 33 goals). He later won the European Cup with PSV Eindhoven and European Cup with Holland.


Mario Been - midfielder (Pisa 1988-90, 62 league games with 6 goals).


Ruud Gullit - midfielder (Milan 1987-93, Sampdoria 1993-94, Milan 1994, Sampdoria 1994-95, 178 league games with 62 goals and 3 Scudetti, 2 European Cups, 3 Supercoppe, 2 European Super Cups and 2 Intercontinental Cups all with Milan plus a Coppa Italia with Sampdoria). He also won a European Championship with Holland and a Golden Ball. He then went to Chelsea.


Marco van Basten - forward (Milan 1987-1995, 147 league games with 90 goals and 4 Scudetti, 2 European Cups, 4 Supercoppe, 2 European Super Cups and 2 Intercontinental Cups). He also won the European Championships with Holland and 3 Golden Balls. After Cruijff he is considered the best Dutch player ever and known as "The Swan of Utrecht".


Frank Rijkaard - midfielder (Milan 1988-93, 142 league games with 16 goals and 2 Scudetti, 2 European Cups, 1 Supercoppa, 2 European Super Cups and 2 Intercontinental Cups). He also won a European Championship with Holland. He then returned to Ajax where he won another Champions League. Later as a manager he won 2 Ligas and the Champions League with Barcelona.

Bryan Roy - midfielder (Foggia 1992-94, 59 league games with15 goals. He was part of the golden Zemanlandia era). He then went to Nottingham Forest.


Johan van't Schip - midfielder (Genoa 1992-96, 107 league games with 11 goals). He is currently Ajax manager.


Wim Jonk - midfielder (Inter 1993-1995, 54 league games with 8 goals and 1 UEFA Cup). He left for PSV.


Dennis Bergkamp - forward (Inter 1993-95, 52 league games with 11 goals and 1 UEFA Cup trophy). He then went to Arsenal and became a Gunners legend.


Michel Kreek - midfielder (Padova 1994-96, Perugia 1996-97 with 85 league games and 13 goals). He then returned to Holland, to Vitesse.


Leonardo van Utrecht - midfielder (Padova 1995-97,23 league games with 2 goals). He left for Cambuur.


Ronald Hoop - forward (Palermo 1996-97, 7 league games with 1 goal). He then joined Baden.


Stefan Jansen - forward (Salernitana 1996-97, Ischia Isolaverde 1997, 16 league games with 1 goal). He then joined Cambuur.


Maickel Ferrier - defender (Salernitana 1996-97, Catania 1997, 18 league games). He then joined Cambuur.


Michael Reiziger - defender (Milan 1996-97, 10 league games). He then joined Barcelona for 7 years (2 Ligas and then Middlesbrough). He previously won 4 league titles, a Champions League and an Intercontinental Cup with Ajax. 


Winston Bogarde - defender (Milan 1997-98, 3 league games). He then joined Barcelona.


Eli Louhenappessy - defender (Udinese 1997-2001 but Genoa 1997-98 on loan and Salernitana 2000-01, 17 league games). He then settled in Friuli in Italy and played at amateur level.


Late 90's to 2024


Source Wikipedia

Jaap Stam joined Lazio from Manchester United in 2001. He stayed three seasons.


In the first Lazio finished 6th (UEFA Cup), first under Dino Zoff and then Alberto Zaccheroni and Stam was out for a lengthy period with injury. In the second, under Roberto Mancini, Lazio finished 4th (Champions League) and reached the UEFA Cup semi-final. In his last, still under Mancini, Lazio finished 6th (UEFA Cup) but won the Coppa Italia. He then joined Milan for two seasons where he won a Supercoppa. He then returned to Ajax.


He was a great success at Lazio. One of the best defenders in their history. He played 70 league games with 3 goals (Verona, Parma, Empoli), 8 games in Coppa Italia and 12 in Europe (8 CL + 4 UC) with 1 goal (Beşiktaş).


In Italy he played a total of 112 league games.

He arrived at Lazio from Hoffenheim in 2014. He stayed two seasons.


In the first the manager was Stefano Pioli and Lazio finished 3rd (Champions League preliminary). In the second Pioli started but was replaced by Simone Inzaghi for the last 8 games and Lazio finished 8th.


Braafheid was never a regular and ended up with a total of 21 league games and 2 in Coppa Italia. He then went to Utrecht.

Official SS Lazio photo

Stefan de Vrij signed for Lazio in 2014 from Feyenoord. He played well at the 2014 World Cup and Lazio were looking forward to his arrival. He stayed four seasons.


He played first under Stefano Pioli and the Biancocelesti finished 3rd (Champions League preliminary, then lost to Bayer Leverkusen). De Vrij played 30 league games, 5 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Virtus Bassano).


The next season Pioli started but was later replaced by Simone Inzaghi. Lazio finished 8th but de Vrij only played the two Champions League qualification games and two in the league before suffering a serious injury.


The following year, with Inzaghi, Lazio finished 5th and de Vrij was back. He played 27 league games with 2 goals (Chievo, Sampdoria) and 4 games in Coppa Italia.


In his last year Lazio finished 5th (Europa League). His time in the capital ended in controversy. He had already signed for Inter when Lazio played the Nerazzurri in the last game of the season for a place in Champions League. He played the game but not particularly well and gave away a decisive penalty in a 2-3 defeat (a point would have sufficed for Lazio). He therefore left under a cloud, after some good years in Rome. He won a Supercoppa in 2017, beating Juventus 3-2. He played a total of 118 games (95 in A, 12 in Coppa Italia, 9 in Europe and 2 Supercoppa finals).


At Inter he has played six seasons including 2023-24. He has played 176 league games with 9 goals 13 in Coppa Italia and 43 in Europe with 1 goal. As managers he has had Luciano Spalletti, Antonio Conte for two seasons  and then Simon Inzaghi in the last three. He has won 2 Scudetti, 3 Supercoppe and 2 Coppe Italia. Inter were also runners up in the Champions League in 2023, losing 0-1 to Manchester City.


Ricardo Kishna arrived at Lazio in 2015, as a great promise from Ajax. He was 20 and was a bright hope. He stayed one full season at Lazio.


The manager was first Stefano Pioli and then Simone Inzaghi and Lazio finished 8th. Kishna suffered from several injuries and played 11 league games with 2 goals (Bologna on his debut, Milan),4 in Europe plus the Italian Supercoppa.


The following season he stayed until January. After 5 league games he left for Lille on loan. He then had a couple of seasons with Den Haag on loan before the Dutch club signed him in 2020.


Kishna also due to physical problems, was an unfulfilled talent at Lazio.

Bobby Adekanye joined Lazio from Liverpool in 2019. He stayed one season.


Lazio, under Simone Inzaghi, finished 4th (Champions League). The Biancocelesti however, until the interruption in late February, for the Covid-19 crisis, were flying and considered favourites for the Scudetto. After lockdown with a limited squad, injuries and games every three days in empty stadiums they faded. Adekanye played 11 league games with 1 goal (SPAL), 1 game in Coppa Italia and 3 in the Europa League. He won a Supercoppa.


At Lazio he was a reserve. He is quick and skilful but probably not top Serie A level.


He then went on loan to Cadiz, Den Haag and Crotone before leaving for Go Ahead Eagles.


Djavan Anderson - defender/midfielder - Lazio

Djavan Anderson arrived at Lazio from Bari in 2018.


He was immediately sent out on loan to Salernitana in Serie B. He played under three different managers, including former Lazio player Angelo Gregucci. The Granata stayed up after a playoff and Anderson played 18 league games with 1 goal (Padova) plus the playoff.


In 2019-20 he was back at Lazio. The manager was Simone Inzaghi and Lazio finished 4th. When lockdown struck however they were 2nd but then, post-Covid they predictably lost ground. Anderson played 6 league games and 1 in Coppa Italia. He won a Supercoppa.


The following season he stayed and Lazio finished 6th (Europa League). He played another 3 league games.


In 2021-22 he went on loan to Cosenza in Serie B but in January, after 8 league games, he left again on loan to PEC Zwolle. The following season he joined Oxford United.

Clarence Seedorf - midfielder (Sampdoria 1995-96, Inter 2000-02, Milan 2002-12, 396 league games and 2 Scudetti, 2 Champions Leagues, 2 Supercoppe and 1 World Cup for clubs, all with Milan). Between Sampdoria and Inter he spent four successful seasons with Real Madrid (1 Liga and 1 Champions League). He left Milan for Botafogo in Brazil.


Edgar Davids - midfielder (Milan 1996-97, Juventus 1997-2004, Inter 2004-05, 192 league games with 8 goals and 3 Scudetti and 2 Supercoppe with Juventus and 1 Coppa Italia with Inter). He also played for Barcelona and Tottenham.


Edwin van der Sar - goalkeeper (Juventus 1999-2001, 66 league games). He then went to Fulham and Manchester United.

Andy van der Meyde - midfielder/forward (Inter 2003-05, 32 league games with 1 goal and 1 Coppa Italia trophy). He then went to Everton.


Wesley Sneijder - midfielder (Inter 2009-2013, 76 league games with 13 goals and 1 Scudetto, 1 Champions League, 1 Supercoppa, 2 Coppe Italia and 1 World Cup for clubs). He previously played for Real Madrid and left Inter for Galatasaray.


Klaas- Jan Huntelaar - forward (Milan 2009-10, 25 league games with 7 goals). He previously played for Real Madrid and later for Schalke 04 and Ajax again.


Sander Westerveld - goalkeeper (Monza 2009-11, 54 league games. He previously played for Liverpool, Real Sociedad, and Everton amongst others. He left for Ajax Cape Town.


Mark van Bommel - midfielder (Milan 2011-12, 39 league games and 1 Scudetto and 1 Supercoppa). He also played for Barcelona (1 Champions League and Liga) and Bayern Munich (2 League titles).


Eljero Elia - midfielder (Juventus 2011-12, 4 league games). He then joined Werder Bremen


Maarten Stekelenburg - goalkeeper (Roma 2011-13, 48 league games). He then played for Fulham, Monaco, Southampton, Everton and Ajax again.


Urby Emanuelson - defender/midfielder (Milan 2011-13, Milan 2013-14, Roma 2014-15, Atalanta 2015, Verona 2016, 97 league games with 3 goals and 1 Scudetto and 1 Supercoppa with Milan).


Nigel de Jong - midfielder (Milan 2012-16, 79 league games with 6 goals). He had previously played with Manchester City where he won a league title and an FA Cup.


Kevin Strootman - midfielder (Roma 2013-18, Genoa 2021, Cagliari 2021-22, Genoa 2022- present, so far 187 league games with 12 goals)


Marco van Ginkel - midfielder (Milan 2014-15, 17 league games with 1 goal). He left for Stoke City.


Jonathan de Guzmán - midfielder (Napoli 2014-16, Carpi 2016, Chievo 2016-17, 55 league games with 6 goals). He left for Eintracht Frankfurt.


Kevin Diks - defender (Fiorentina 2016-17, 2018-19, Empoli 2019, 2 league games). He left for Aarhus.


Timo Letschert - defender (Sassuolo 2016-18, 16 league games). He left for Utrecht.


Bram Nuytinck - defender (Udinese 2017-2023, Sampdoria 2023, 152 league games with 3 goals). He then joined N.E.C.


Alessio Da Cruz - forward (Novara 2017-18, Parma 2018-19, Spezia 2019, Ascoli 2019-20, Vicenza 2022, Feralpisalò 2023-24, 63 league games with 14 goals). In 2024 he joined Fortuna Sittard. He also has Cape Verdean nationality.


Mitchell Dijks - defender (Bologna 2018-2022, 74 league games with 1 goal). He left for Vitesse.


Thom Haye - midfielder (Lecce 2018-19, 13 league games). He left for Den Haag.


Andries Noppert - goalkeeper (Foggia 2018-19, 8 league games). He left for Dordrecht.


Matthijs de Ligt - defender (Juventus 2019-20, 87 league games with 8 goals and 1 Scudetto, 1 Supercoppa and 1 Coppa Italia). He left for Bayern Munich.


Marvin Zegelaar - defender (Udinese 2019, 2020-23, 71 league games with 2 goals)


Jerdy Schouten - midfielder (Bologna 2019-2023, 103 league games with 2 goals). He left for PSV.


Reda Boultam - midfielder (Cremonese 2018-20, Triestina 2020-21, Salernitana 2021, Cosenza 2021-22, 50 league games with 3 goals). He then joined Istria 1961.


Leandro Fernandes - midfielder (Juventus U23 2018-19, Pescara 2020-21, 16 league games). He left for PEC Zwolle.


Sam Lammers - forward (Atalanta 2020-21, Empoli 2022-23, Sampdoria 2023, 50 league games with 4 goals). He left for Rangers.


Thomas Ouwejan - defender (Udinese 2020-21, 15 league games). He left for Schalke 04.


Official SS Lazio Image

It is recent news that Lazio now have the ninth Dutch player in their history. Tijjani Noslin has just signed from Hellas Verona.

The 24- year-old forward started his career with USV Heracles, then DHSC before making his breakthrough with Fortuna Sittard. In January 2024 he joined Verona and impressed, playing 17 league games and scoring 5 goals.

Noslin is an attacking winger and hopefully he will be more of an Aron Winter or Japp Stam than a Ricardo Kishna or Bobby Adekanye in his Lazio performances.

Now currently in Italy


In A: Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Hans Hateboer (Atalanta) Stefan de Vrij (Inter), Joshua Zirkzee (Bologna) Rick Karsdorp (Roma), kevin Strootman (Genoa), Tijjani Reijnders, Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta), Denzel Dumfries (Inter), Sam Beukema (Bologna), Mitchel  Bakker (Atalanta), Davy Klaassen (Inter), Tijjani Noslin (Verona), kingsley Ehizibue (Udinese), Elayis Tavsan (Verona),  Per Schuurs (Torino).


In B: Jeroen Zoet (Spezia), Cas Odenthal (Como), Tom van de Looi (Brescia), kees de Boer (Ternana),


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