Memphis Depay can score his 42nd goal in the Orange shirt against Wales today. This would put him on the same level as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and he would get all-time top scorer Robin van Persie (50 goals) in his sights. With his two hits against Belgium, he has already overtaken Patrick Kluivert.
Memphis is sometimes criticized for his game, but in the Orange shirt he shows a huge scoring drive. He scored no fewer than 41 goals (and 29 assists) in 78 international matches. Although the attacker had trouble scoring in his early period with the Orange squad. After 26 international matches, the counter was only on three goals. In the 52 games that followed, Memphis scored 38 times.
The FC Barcelona player is still one goal behind Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on the all-time top scorers list and nine more goals behind Van Persie.
All time top scorers Dutch national team
1. Robin van Persie 50 (102 matches)
2. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 42 (76 matches)
3. Memphis Depay 41 (78 games)
4. Patrick Kluivert 40 (79 matches)
5. Arjen Robben 37 (96 matches)
6. Dennis Bergkamp 37 (79 matches)
7. Ruud van Nistelrooy 35 (70 matches)
8. Faas Wilkes 35 (38 matches)
9. Johan Cruyff 33 (48 matches)
10. Abe Lenstra 33 (47 duels)
Van Persie became the all-time top scorer of the Dutch national team in 2013, scoring his 41st international goal, just as much as Memphis has now. With this he trumped greats such as Faas Wilkes, Johan Cruijff and Abe Lenstra. Although this is mainly because players nowadays play a lot more international matches than in the past.
Van Persie played 102 games for the Orange squad, while Cruijff and Lenstra did not even reach half that number. Relatively speaking, Wilkes scored the most of the top ten all time top scorers. He scored 0.9 goal per game, while Van Persie has not yet reached half a goal per game.
Dennis Bergkamp can call himself the all-time top scorer in final rounds (European Championship and World Cup). He scored ten goals in 24 games. That was exactly one more than Van Persie, who also played one game less in a final round. Johnny Rep is the World Cup top scorer in the Netherlands with seven goals. Dennis Bergkamp, Rob Rensenbrink, Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder follow with six goals.
Van Persie’s fifty goals are a special achievement, but in the other top countries the top scorers scored even more often. David Villa is Spain’s top scorer with 61 goals, Germany’s Miroslav Klose with 71 goals, England’s Wayne Rooney with 53, France’s Thierry Henry with 51, Brazil’s Pele with 77, Argentina’s Lionel Messi with 86, and Cristiano Ronaldo with 117 goals on behalf of Portugal.
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