Jeffrey Bruma played 25 international matches for the Orange between 2010 and 2016. The defender of SC Heerenveen is now 31 years old and looks back on his period in the Dutch national team in an interview with Voetbal International.
The former Feyenoord youth player worked under four different international bosses in his career from Bert van Marwijk and Louis van Gaal to Guus Hiddink and Danny Blind.
“Most international matches I played were in a phase when things were not going so well for the Orange squad,” he said. .
“The qualification series for the 2016 European Championship and 2018 World Cup failed. Everything showed that we were in a transitional phase from an old to a new generation.”
“It was a lot of searching,” he added. “Which older guys are left and what new guys are coming in?
“As a result, you also had a young and an old group in the selection, while when I now look at the Orange squad, I see one big whole. That wasn’t always the case then, it all still had to take shape.”
However, Bruma did experience his national team qualify to a number of tournaments too including the 2010 and 2014 editions of the FIFA World Cup as well as Euro 2012 – none of which the former Chelsea defender featured in despite winning 25 caps over six years for his country.
Despite this, Bruma does look back on his international career fondly and feels the closest he was to be part of one was back in 2010 – when Oranje finished the tournament as runners-up.
He said: “There are quite a number of matches that I have played, although there could have been more.
“Of course I would have liked to have experienced a final tournament. In retrospect, I came closest to it in 2010, as a player of HSV I was in the pre-selection. I was only twenty then.”