Van de Kerkhof Twins


The twin pair of René and Willy van de Kerkhof played together for the Dutch national team in its defining era, the 1970s, both winning a silver medal at the 1978 World Cup (both also were in the 1974 runners-up squad, but Willy did not play a minute at the final tournament and René only played the second half of the final against West Germany).
In 1978 the twins both played in all 7 matches (Willy played all 660 minutes while René was in the starting line-up for all matches but was substituted on 3 occasions, playing 565 minutes), setting a record for matches together for any pair of brothers at a single tournament (the Charlton brothers had managed 7 before, but split over two tournaments: 6 in 1966 and 1 in 1970). (The total of 7 World Cup matches for a brother pair was later improved by the De Boer twins, who managed 8, 2 in 1994 and 6 in 1998.)

Only a month and a half before the 1978 World Cup, the two had claimed PSV's first ever European trophy, the 1977/78 UEFA Cup, won against Bastia in the final (Willy scoring the first goal in the 3-0 win in the second leg, the first had finished goalless) after PSV had eliminated Barcelona (with Johan Cruijff, who refused to play for Oranje in Argentina) in the semifinal.

Apart from being together in two World Cup squads of the eventual runners-up, the two both played at two European championships, in 1976 and 1980, but the Dutch team was not impressive in either final tournament. Their four shared squad selections for major tournaments remain a Dutch record for any pair of brothers (twins or otherwise).

Together the twins obtained 110 Dutch caps (Willy 63, René 47), scoring 10 goals (both 5). Below we list all 33 matches of the Dutch national team in which both twin brothers played (though not necessarily simultaneously: in the 5th match below, René replaced Willy at half-time whereas in the 11th match listed below, on May 20, 1978, Willy was substituted at half-time because he wanted to catch a flight to attend the first holy communion of his daughter, while René only came in as a substitute on the hour mark).


Cap  Goals	Date	Venue   	Opponent       Score	Competition
     RK WK  T
 1             5- 6-74  Rotterdam       Romania         0-0
 2            22-11-75  Roma            Italy           0-1     European Champ. Qual.
 3       1  1 19- 6-76  Zagreb          Yugoslavia      3-2 aet European Championship
 4             8- 9-76  Reykjavík       Iceland         1-0     World Cup Qualifier
 5            13-10-76  Rotterdam       N. Ireland      2-2 [1] World Cup Qualifier
 6            31- 8-77  Nijmegen        Iceland         4-1     World Cup Qualifier
 7             5-10-77  Rotterdam       Soviet Union    0-0
 8       1  2 12-10-77  Belfast         N. Ireland      1-0     World Cup Qualifier
 9    1     3 26-10-77  Amsterdam       Belgium         1-0     World Cup Qualifier
10            22- 2-78  Tel-Aviv        Israel          2-1
11            20- 5-78  Wien            Austria         1-0 [2]
12             3- 6-78  Mendoza         Iran            3-0     World Cup
13             7- 6-78  Mendoza         Peru            0-0     World Cup
14            11- 6-78  Mendoza         Scotland        2-3     World Cup
15       1  4 14- 6-78  Córdoba         Austria         5-1     World Cup
16    1     5 18- 6-78  Córdoba         West Germany    2-2     World Cup
17            21- 6-78  Buenos Aires    Italy           2-1     World Cup
18            25- 6-78  Buenos Aires    Argentina       1-3 aet World Cup
19            24- 2-79  Milano          Italy           0-3
20            28- 3-79  Eindhoven       Switzerland     3-0     European Champ. Qual.
21             2- 5-79  Chorzów         Poland          0-2     European Champ. Qual.
22       1  6  5- 9-79  Reykjavík       Iceland         4-0     European Champ. Qual.
23            26- 9-79  Rotterdam       Belgium         1-0
24            26- 3-80  Paris           France          0-0
25            11- 6-80  Napoli          Greece          1-0     European Championship
26       1  7 14- 6-80  Napoli          West Germany    2-3     European Championship
27            17- 6-80  Milano          Czechoslovakia  1-1     European Championship
28            19-11-80  Brussel         Belgium         0-1     World Cup Qualifier
29            30-12-80  Montevideo      Uruguay         0-2     Mundialito
30             6- 1-81  Montevideo      Italy           1-1     Mundialito
31            25- 3-81  Rotterdam       France          1-0     World Cup Qualifier
32             1- 9-81  Zürich          Switzerland     1-2
33            22- 9-82  Rotterdam       Ireland         2-1     European Champ. Qual.

[1] Willy was replaced by René at half-time;
[2] Willy was substituted at half-time while René came on as a sub in 60'

Total Record
 
    GP    GW   GD   GL   GF  GA     Pts  Percentage
    33    16    8    9   47- 33      40      60.61
 

Types of Matches and Goals

                      Goals Matches Goals by Player
Friendlies        	 -    8    
World Cup                2    7     (Willy 1, René 1)
World Cup Qualifier	 2    7     (Willy 1, René 1)
European Championship    2    4     (Willy 2)
European Champ. Qual.    1    5     (Willy 1)
Mundialito               -    2

Total                	 7   33     (Willy 5, René 2)

Brothers in Oranje


About this document

Prepared and maintained by Karel Stokkermans for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation

Author: Karel Stokkermans (karel@rsssf.com)
Last updated: 21 Apr 2011

(C) Copyright Karel Stokkermans and RSSSF 2008/11
You are free to copy this document in whole or part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the author. All rights reserved.