Dutch Language Blog

The Dutch Women’s Soccer Team 2019 Posted by on Jul 2, 2019 in Uncategorized

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is wrapping up and the Dutch team has shown incredible strength and determination advancing to the semi-finals. Below are some fun facts about the Nederlands vrouwenvoetbalelftal!

Photo taken by Emma Coolen found on Flickr.com with license CC0 1.0

International Tournaments

The Nederlands vrouwenvoetbalelftal played their first international FIFA-related event in 1971. In 2015, they finished 13th place, which makes this year’s world cup the farthest the Leeuwinnen (lionesses) have reached.

There is reason to hope that the oranje team will make it far. In 2017, they won the European Championship against Denmark.

Lieke Martens

One of the strongest players in the ploeg or team is Lieke Martens. Like most athletes, she began playing heel vroeg or quite early. She has played in several Dutch teams including Heerenveen (Friesland) and VVV Venlo (Limburg). She later played in Belgium, Germany, Sweden and since 2017 has been playing for FC Barcelona. That same year, she was named FIFA Women’s beste voetbalster ter wereld or best footballer in the world.

Lieke has been playing very well during this world cup scoring twice against Japan despite having problems or last van her foot. In between games she is resting and moving around in a wheel chair.

I first heard of Lieke in my favorite Dutch commercial! The peanut butter brand Calvé has a few commercials that spotlight Dutch athletes. Lieke was the first female athlete to be featured in the reclame or commercial. I previously wrote a post about the commercials which you can check out here. Three things I love about this commercial are: 1) she stays playing outside in the rain because the coach tells the jongen (boys) to go inside, 2) a hint of her Limburg roots is present when the coach tells her loesteren instead of luisteren, and despite the rain she says she was lekker bezig or deliciously busy. Below is the commercial


To celebrate the Nederlands vrouwenvoetbalelftal, Calvé included the names of the players in the peanut butter jars, and boodschappenwinkels or at least the grocery stores I frequent have been placing these all over the store.


When the men’s soccer team is playing in either the World Cup or the European Cup, hundreds of streets in the Netherlands turn orange in support. There has, however, not been the same display for the women’s team. Fortunately, there are several people who are doing something about it like Mandy Blok from Leiden. She talked to her buren or neighbours so they could all put orange vlaggetjes or flags and the Dutch flags. You can read more about Mandy’s initiative in this article by RTL Nieuws.

But Leiden isn’t the only city where the vlaggetjes hangen uit! In Mill in the province of Brabant, the city also hung flags in support of the women’s football/soccer team. The video below tells more about the efforts in Mill and it includes a good selection of elftal liedjes. 

Ajax voetbal

While most of the attention is on the World Cup, last week Amsterdam-based team Ajax announced that they were offering the female players a CAO (collectieve arbeidsovereenkomst) or collective labor agreement. As of next season, both the men’s and women’s teams will have certain basic things guaranteed such as loon (wages), vakantiedagen (vacation days), and ziekteverlof (sick leave). Ajax is the first team in the Netherlands to offer this and, according to the manager of the women’s team for Ajax, this is the first step in professionalizing women’s soccer.

Which country will you support? Will the Dutch women’s team beat the men’s in becoming world champion?

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!


  1. Fort Hay:

    Has the team been invited by Willelm and Juliana following their excellent showing in the cup?

    • Karoly Molina:

      @Fort Hay Hi Fort! I don’t think it is as common to visit the king and queen as it is in the US to visit the White House. The King and two of his daughters were at the game on Sunday, and they stopped by the locker room after the game to say hello. Because the team requested no parties unless they won first place (the men’s team did celebrate second place some years ago), I think not much is expected. You can read more about the king’s assistance to the game here: -Karoly

  2. Titi:

    Very interesting article.
    I love learning languages. I speak and write very good English, French and Romanian pretty good Dutch and I have a fair level of Ukrainian. I’m now studying Polish and would like one day to learn Russian and Portuguese. Quite an interesting mix of different language families. I speak and write at least 3-4 languages on a daily basis.
    I lived in the Netherlands in Amsterdam.
    My kids love football.

    It’s an amazing achievement to reach the final for the Dutch women team. Dutch have a football tradition, this is why I’m not very surprised.
    By the way in continental Europe we cal it football not soccer, that’s for Americans 🙂 In Dutch it’s “voetbal”. I was expecting to read an article in Dutch, but it’s equally interesting in English.
    In any case great article!