Euro 2024: Why do the Netherlands wear orange? Festivals, 'goldfish scales' & Johan Cruyff

The Netherlands’ flag may be red, white and blue but the national colour is definitely orange – that comes from the Dutch Royal Family, the House of Orange-Nassau, which dates back almost 500 years to William of Orange.

Whether it is playing sport or celebrating King’s Day, wearing orange is a huge source of pride.

“I have to say that representing your country with the Dutch orange shirt is always special,” adds Zenden, who played in England at Chelsea, Middlesbrough and Liverpool. “I don’t feel the same with the blue kit, to be honest.”

Designing a kit that will be adored by millions of fans comes with huge responsibility.

Arsenio Lopez had that task for the Dutch 2022 Qatar World Cup collection.

“I feel very fortunate to have done that, a sense of responsibility that hopefully you are doing right by the country and the people and they really enjoy it,” says the former Olympic swimmer from Puerto Rico.

Like the colour, the national team’s badge featuring a lion takes its root from Dutch royalty and Lopez wanted to find a new way of portraying the “power, glow and regalness” of the lion and its mane within the jersey.

He travelled to the Netherlands, spent hours researching players and their personalities and found Memphis Depay, complete with giant lion tattoo on his back, a particular muse. The resulting home shirt featured a flame-like effect.

“The idea was inspired by the brashness and confidence that certain players, like Memphis, were bringing to the team,” explains Lopez.

“The importance of the shirt isn’t something I take lightly. I really respect the intensity, significance and passion those shirts have and the importance of them.”

Passion and intensity are certainly two words that encapsulate the Netherlands supporters in Germany.

Their fan marches are an intoxicating experience and even the players joined in the Links Rechts dance in front of a wall of orange at Berlin’s Olympiastadion after their quarter-final win over Turkey.

“It’s quite a scene to see,” adds Zenden. “It makes you proud and also happy. That’s what it should be. Football should be a festival.”

Total Football and moustachioed superstars may come and go, but the future for the Netherlands will always be unmistakably and unashamedly bright orange.

Source link: Euro 2024: Why do the Netherlands wear orange? Festivals, 'goldfish scales' & Johan Cruyff