Who is Netherlands' leading all-time top goal scorer? Van Persie, Depay and Oranje's most lethal strikers

Robin van Persie Netherlands Spain WC 2014
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The Netherlands national team's top goalscorers consist of some of the greatest footballers in history

Netherlands are one of those teams that always appear on fans' lists of pre-tournament favourites or outsiders, despite only ever winning one major tournament.

They might have made it to three World Cup finals, but they have also ended up losing every single one of them.

Euro 1988 was that one time that things all went their way, with the legendary Marco van Basten scoring one of the best goals ever in the final.

The former AC Milan star is by no means the only attacking superstar Oranje have had, though.

Johan Cruyff is arguably one of the greatest players ever, Dennis Bergkamp is an absolute Premier League legend and the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Robin van Persie are among the greatest goalscorers to have graced a pitch, too.

But who are the players who have scored the most international goals for Netherlands?

  1. Robin van Persie | 50 goals

    #1 Robin van Persie | 50 goals

    Featuring in six major tournaments, Van Persie went on to score 50 goals in 102 international appearances for his country to become their all-time top goalscorer.

    His flying header at the 2014 World up against reigning champions Spain was nominated for the FIFA Puskas Award.

    At the same tournament, Van Persie became the only player since 1966 to score with his left foot, right foot, head, free-kick and a penalty in World Cup history.

    Van Persie's final game for Netherlands came in August 2017 in a 4-0 defeat to France in their failed attempt to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

  2. Memphis Depay | 44 goals

    #2 Memphis Depay | 44 goals

    Memphis Depay was selected for the 2014 World Cup by then Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal based on his impressive performances at club level, having previously made his debut against Turkey in October 2013.

    With Netherlands trailing against Australia in their second group game, he came on as a substitute, first assisting Robin van Persie and later scoring the winning goal from outside the box.

    At that time, Depay became the youngest Dutchman to score at the World Cup at 20 years and 4 months.

    Since then, he has gone on to score 44 goals for Netherlands.

  3. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar | 42 goals

    #3 Klaas-Jan Huntelaar | 42 goals

    Klaas-Jan Huntelaar made his debut against Ireland in August 2006, scoring a brace and providing two assists in a 4-0 win for Netherlands.

    He featured in two Euro Championships and two World Cups for his country, scoring 42 goals in 76 matches.

    His greatest international goalscoring performance came in the Euro 2012 qualifier in 2010 when he scored three goals and provided an assist in Netherlands' 5-0 win against San Marino.

  4. Patrick Kluivert | 40 goals

    #4 Patrick Kluivert | 40 goals

    Fourth on the list of Netherlands' all time top scorers is Patrick Kluivert with 40 goals in 79 games.

    His first goal for Oranje came in a 4-0 win against Malta in March 1995 and he went on to become a key figure in the years to come.

    After receiving a red card against Belgium at the 1998 World Cup, he returned from suspension days later to score in the quarter-final win against Argentina.

    Kluivert also scored Netherlands' equalising goal in the semi-final against Brazil, which they went on to lose on a penalty shootout.

    However, the Dutch striker's best individual performance for his country came at Euro 2000, when he scored a hat-trick in a 6-1 demolition of Yugoslavia.

  5. Dennis Bergkamp | 37 goals

    #5 Dennis Bergkamp | 37 goals

    One of the most creative attackers of all time, Dennis Bergkamp scored 37 goals in 79 games for Netherlands.

    His first goal came against Greece in a 2-0 win in 1990, with subsequent performances leading him to be selected for the Euro 1992.

    Bergkamp scored three goals in the tournament as Netherlands crashed out on penalties against Denmark in the semi-finals.

    The Arsenal legend raised Dutch spirits in qualifying for the 1994 World Cup, scoring three goals and leading his team to the quarter-final, where they lost against Brazil.

    Bergkamp scored three goals at the 1998 World Cup, including a memorable winning goal in the quarter-finals against Argentina.

    He controlled a 60-yard aerial pass from Frank de Boer with extreme ease, nutmegged Argentine defender Roberto Ayala before firing a volley from the outside of his foot past the goalkeeper.

    Cited by himself as the favourite goal of his career, Bergkamp led Netherlands to the semi-final where they once again faced Brazil and lost on penalties.

    His last appearance came at Euro 2000 where Netherlands lost 3-1 to Italy on penalties.

  6. Arjen Robben | 37 goals
    Dean Mouhtaropoulos

    #6 Arjen Robben | 37 goals

    Part of three World Cup campaigns and three European Championships, Arjen Robben scored 37 goals in 96 appearances for Netherlands.

    Selected for Euro 2004, Robben scored the deciding penalty-kick against Sweden in the quarter-finals, but Netherlands then went on to lose to Portugal in the semi-finals.

    After yet more heartbreak at Euro 2008, Robben inspired Netherlands as they reached the final of the 2010 World Cup against Spain.

    The Dutch winger had a golden chance in the 62nd minute of the final when he was one-on-one with Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who denied him his chance at glory.

    After a run to the semi-finals at the 2014 World Cup, Robben retired after he couldn't help the Netherlands qualify for the 2018 edition of the tournament.

  7. Faas Wilkes | 35 goals

    #7 Faas Wilkes | 35 goals

    With an incredible 0.92 goals per match ratio, Faas Wilkes is one of the most clinical players on this list.

    The striker scored 35 goals in just 38 appearances, with his best performance coming on his debut in March 1946 against Luxembourg in which he scored four goals.

    The Inter legend, known for his creativity on the ball and impeccable dribbling skills, is considered one of the best players to ever play for Netherlands.

  8. Ruud van Nistelrooy | 35 goals
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    #8 Ruud van Nistelrooy | 35 goals

    One of the great Dutch strikers to have never won an international trophy, Ruud van Nistelrooy was part of two European Championships and one World Cup squad for his country.

    He scored his first goal in his third game for Netherlands against Morocco in April 1999 and eventually scored 35 goals in 70 games for the Dutch national team

    After missing out on the World Cup in 2002, Nistelrooy shone at Euro 2004, scoring four goals for his side on their road to the semi-final, where they lost to Portugal.

    He was also part of Netherlands' 2006 World Cup squad, but was benched in his team's loss to Portugal in the round of 16.

    Van Nistelrooy's last appearance at a major tournament came at Euro 2008, where he scored two goals in Netherlands' journey to the quarter-final

  9. Abe Lenstra | 33 goals
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    #9 Abe Lenstra | 33 goals

    The greatest player in Heerenveen history, Abe Lenstra played 47 games for Netherlands, scoring 33 goals.

    He is one of the few international stars who scored on his debut as well as in the last game of his career for the national team.

    Lenstra scored on debut in the 4-5 loss to Luxembourg in March 1940 and also netted in the final game of his international career in a 2-2 draw against Belgium in April 1959.

    The winger formed a key attacking partnership with Faas Wilkes and is known to have objected to play for the Dutch national team if he was not selected for the playing position of his choice.

  10. Johan Cruyff | 33 goals

    #10 Johan Cruyff | 33 goals

    One of the ultimate legends of the game, Johan Cruyff scored 33 goals in just 48 games for Netherlands.

    He won the Golden Ball at the 1974 World Cup where he helped Netherlands reach the final, before leading his team to a third-place finish at Euro 1976.

    Cruyff later refused to play at the 1978 World Cup after a kidnapping attempt targeting him and his family in their Barcelona home.

    In 1999, he was voted European Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) and he also came second behind Pele in their World Player of the Century poll

  11. #11 Netherlands all-time top goal scorers





    Netherlands career


    Robin van Persie



    2005 - 2017


    Memphis Depay



    2013 - ongoing


    Klaas-Jan Huntelaar





    Patrick Kluivert



    1994 - 2004


    Dennis Bergkamp



    1990 - 2000


    Arjen Robben



    2003 - 2017


    Faas Wilkes



    1946 - 1961


    Ruud van Nistelrooy



    1998 - 2011


    Abe Lenstra



    1940 - 1959


    Johan Cruyff



    1966 - 1977