Over the course of the history of Vancouver Whitecaps FC, a number of players who have played for the club at one point or another have also represented their country at the FIFA World Cup. As we approach the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, we will feature players of years’ past who made it to soccer’s pinnacle event.
Ruud Krol is regarded as one of the best Dutch players of all-time, and one of the game’s best ever defenders. Krol could play seamlessly anywhere on the backline or midfield. He spent the first 13 years of his career with Ajax before joining the ‘Caps in 1980, then moving on to Napoli in Italy and ending his playing days with AS Cannes in France.
The Dutchman came to Vancouver midway through the 1980 season, totalling 14 appearances in the follow-up to the ‘Caps NASL championship season. He would also start both playoff matches versus rivals Seattle Sounders, who thwarted their attempt at a repeat title.
Krol is one of few players who can claim to have played in back-to-back FIFA World Cup Final matches, as he did with the Netherlands in 1974 and 1978.
In 1974, he started all seven matches as they made the 1974 World Cup Final, scoring in a second round win over Argentina. However the Dutch, who featured players such as Johan Cruyff and John Neeskens, would fall at the final hurdle in a 2-1 loss to West Germany.
He then captained the Netherlands in 1978, again starting all seven matches. After going to extra time in the final versus Argentina, the Dutch would concede twice and fall 3-1.
In total, Krol scored four goals in 83 international appearances.
FUN FACT: Following his retirement from playing, Krol has gone on to a lengthy professional coaching career. In fact, he has managed two countries who will be playing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup – Egypt (1995-1996) and Tunisia (2013).