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Golden generation Dutch keeper Jongbloed dies aged 82

Former Netherlands goalkeeper Jan Jongbloed, who played in two World Cup finals, has died after a long illness aged 82, according to the Dutch football federation (KNVB) on Thursday. 

“It is with sadness that we have learned of the death of 24-time ‘Oranje’ international Jan Jongbloed (82),” the federation said on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

“The KNVB wishes the relatives a lot of strength in processing this great loss.”

Jongbloed, who built a reputation for being a goalkeeper who came out of his area, was part of the “Oranje” golden generation of the 1970s. 

Led by Johan Cruyff they reached the World Cup finals of 1974 and 1978, on each occasional losing to the hosts, West Germany and Argentina. 

During the 1974 final in Munich which the Dutch lost 2-1, Jongbloed made a name for himself by playing without gloves “because otherwise you can’t feel the ball”, he said.

Four years later, the Netherlands were beaten 3-1 by a gifted Argentina side whose merits were overshadowed the  climate of intimidation that the Oranje were subject to under the military dictatorship that ruled in Buenos Aires at the time. 

His international career, however, got off to a false start as he played for six minutes as a substitute for Piet Lagarde in a friendly international against Denmark in 1962.

He was not picked again for 12 years during which time be became known as the man with the shortest-ever international career in the Netherlands.

When Jan van Beveren dropped out, national coach Rinus Michels recalled Jongbloed for the 1974 World Cup and he became a regular for the next four years, once going 683 minutes without conceding a goal.

“As a ‘flying goalkeeper’, Jongbloed was a perfect fit for the attacking total football with which the Netherlands conquered the world, despite losing the final against West Germany,” the Dutch federation said in a statement.

After playing as a winger up to the age of 15, Jongbloed made his debut in goal for DWS Amsterdam as an 18-year-old in 1958 and went on to play across four decades. 

He broke the record for the oldest player in the Dutch league when he played for Go Ahead Eagles in 1983 at the age of 43. 

An avid angler, he turned down a move to Ajax in 1974, claiming he did not want to lose one fishing day for an extra day of football training.

Jongbloed’s greatest success with DWS Amsterdam was winning the national title in 1964, a season after the club had just been promoted from the first division. 

Jongbloed was capped 24 times by the Netherlands between 1962 and 1978, and played a total of 717 professional matches, retiring from Go Ahead Eagles in 1985, after suffering a heart attack during a match.

Almost a year earlier, his son Eric, just 21, an amateur player, was killed by lightning in an Amsterdam stadium while playing a friendly match. 

After his football career, Jongbloed held various positions at Vitesse Arnhem and Go Ahead Eagles. 

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