If you were a fan of volleyball in the 90’s, then you remember a Dutch male squad that completely dominated the sport, which culminated with gold medals at the 1996 Olympic Games and 1997 European Championship, in addition to many more podium finishes in other high-profile competitions. It did so under the captaining of all-time legends like 2x Olympic Games MVP Bas Van De Goor, and standouts such as Ron Zwerver.
Unfortunately, time moved on for the Dutch, and the team is now currently ranked 25th in FIVB’s Senior Rankings. Things may be turning around, though, as for the first time in 16 years the Oranges qualified for a spot at the FIVB World Championship. It has recently announced it roster for the competition (with only one cut left). High-powered offensive machine for Italy’s Milano, Nimir Abdel-Aziz is the squad’s biggest name:
- Setters: Daan van Haarlem, Wessel Keemink
- Outside hitters: Maarten van Garderen, Thijs ter Horst, Gijs Jorna, Robbert Andringa
- Middle blockers: Jasper Diefenbach, Fabian Plak, Tim Smit, Thomas Koelewijn, Michael Parkinson
- Opposites: Nimir Abdel-Aziz, Wouter ter Maat
- Liberos: Dirk Sparidans, Just Dronkers
The Netherlands begin their World Championship campaign in the Bulgarian city of Ruse, up against Canada, China, Brazil, France and Egypt in Pool B. The top four of the pool advance to the next phase. Ahead of the competition, the Netherlands will play friendly matches against Italy, France, Brazil, Belgium and Argentina.