The Netherlands return to the FIVB World Championship this year after a 16-year hiatus. Last time they qualified for the competition was in 2002, when they ranked ninth. This was seven places below their all-time high of second in 1994, when they lost 3-1 in the final to Italy in Piraeus, Greece.
The 1990s proved to be a decade of success for the Dutch. The Netherlands finished second in the inaugural World League in 1990 and repeated the feat the following year. In 1992 they took silver at the Olympic Games in Barcelona and four years later they won gold at Atlanta 1996, as well as winning the World League title. They were runners-up at the 1994 World Championship and won two silver and two bronze medals in successive European Championships from 1989, before taking gold on home soil in Eindhoven in 1997.
More recently, the Netherlands finished 16th in the last edition of the FIVB World League in 2017, followed by a 14th place later in the same year in the European Championship.