The Champions League selections for the new season that starts on Tuesday, count 22 Dutch people in foreign service. Six of them can make their debut in the ball of millions.
Record number of Dutch people in the 1999/2000 season
The six Dutchmen who can hope for their Champions League debut are Karim Rekik (Sevilla), Wesley Hoedt (Lazio), Djavan Anderson (Lazio), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Manchester United), Sam Lammers (Atalanta) and Mitchel Bakker (Paris Saint-Germain).
Incidentally, twenty-year-old Bakker was already on the bench during the Champions League final of PSG against Liverpool, but a European debut was not forthcoming. Xavi Simons is not on the PSG list, after the 17-year-old midfielder was already in the selection in the Ligue 1 last month.
At Liverpool it is striking that Sepp van den Berg is missing. The eighteen-year-old defender was registered last season, although he did not play a minute in Europe.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether all 22 Dutch nationals in foreign service will get playing time and moreover, players may be added after the winter transfer period.
Last year, a total of nineteen Dutchmen made Champions League minutes for a foreign club. The record number is 21 in the 1999/2000 season. In 1995/1996 it was only one. Eric Viscaal played four games for the Swiss Grasshopper that year, including two against Ajax.
The Champions League starts on Tuesday at 6.55 pm with the matches Zenit-Club Bruges and Dynamo Kiev-Juventus. At Ajax against Liverpool, the kick-off is on Wednesday at 9 p.m.