After two wonderful World Cup campaigns ( 1974 and 1978 for those just returning from Uranus) Holland had an abysmal 1980 Euros followed up by a no-show at the 1982 World Cup.

In 1984, the Euros would be in France and the nation felt it was time to show up again…

But Spain had different ideas. Or Malta, rather…

This clip shows us the trials and tribulations of a very young squad, with the first forays in the Dutch national team of Rijkaard, Gullit, Koeman, Vanenburg and Van Basten…

The clip starts with one of the most heroic comebacks ever. The away game against Ireland. Holland needs to win, but coach Rijvers keeps Van Basten benched. The youngster comes onto the pitch in the second half, when Holland is trailing 2-0…

Holland needs to finish the job at home against Spain. In Rotterdam, with a young blog moderator Jan in the stands, the revitalised Oranje takes the game to the Spanish.

After defeating the Spanish, Oranje needs to score enough goals versus Malta to win the group. Vanenburg, Wijnstekers, Rijkaard, Houtman and Rijkaard again. 5-0.

Spain will need to win versus Malta with eleven goals. That wouldn’t be possible everyone said… Only two sourpusses, analysts for TV, predicted that Spain would do the job. One Johan Cruyff and one Willem van Hanegem…

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