We Are Off To The World Cup! But Not As You Think

The Netherlands might not be performing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but we will still be part of the largest sporting event on the globe – exporting grass to multiple football pitches, as well as a coach and referees.

Luzhniki Stadium Moscow

Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia

The Netherlands have been providing grass for football fields for many years. Dutch company Barenburg will install turf in half of the World Cup stadiums this year. The national teams of Belgium, France, England and South Korea all practice on Dutch grass at their training facilities.

Barenburg uses English Ryegrass, which is probably the toughest grass type in existence. It has high recovering capabilities. They have also developed a special seed mix that continues to grow during periods of very low temperatures, when other grass seeds stop growing.

Cornelis van den Berg, general manager of Barenburg: ‘You can play on the field much longer and you will notice that the grass will improve faster after reseeding’.

Sharing football knowledge

The Netherlands have produced some outstanding coaches over the years, managing prestigious clubs and national teams in Europe and other parts of the world. We even exported our famous ‘Total Football’-strategy back in the ’70s.

Guus Hiddink shared his managing skills with South Korea’s national team, Dick Advocaat did it with Belgium and Russia. Now Bert van Marwijk, after leading the Dutch national team to the 2010 World Cup final, will try to take Australia past the group-stage and beyond.

Refereeing

After refereeing matches during the 2014 World Cup and the European Championships in 2012 and 2016, Netherlands arbiter Bjorn Kuipers was once again chosen to ref games during this year’s World Cup. He will be supported by fellow Dutch linesmen, Sander Roekel and Erwin Zeinstra.

So, you see, the Dutch will still play a part in this year’s Cup, but come next World Cup you can bet we’ll be back on the pitch,11 men strong. And, don’t forget, our Orange Lionesses are still the reigning European champions of women’s football.