THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Jan Jongbloed, the Netherlands goalkeeper who was a runner-up in two World Cup finals as part of the famous “Clockwork Orange” teams in the 1970s, has died. He was 82.
The Netherlands Football Association announced the death on Thursday.
Despite being one of the most dominant teams of the era, the Netherlands lost back-to-back finals against the World Cup host nations — 2-1 to West Germany in 1974 and 3-1 to Argentina four years later, in what was Jongbloed’s last international appearance.
Jongbloed played 24 times for his national team, often without gloves. Netherlands coach Rinus Michels selected him as a keeper who could set up moves for a team known for its “total football.” His free-spirited roaming with the ball came to epitomize a style known for fluency all over the field.
He was a reserve keeper at the 1978 World Cup, but was elevated to starter after Piet Schrijvers was injured in a group match against Italy.
“We are saddened by the passing of former Oranje goalie Jan Jongbloed (82). The legendary goalkeeper played two World Cup finals for the national team in 1974 and 1978. Our thoughts are with all of his family and relatives,” OnsOranje, the official supporter site for the Dutch national team, said in a message on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The way Jongbloed played in the 1970s was a prototype for many modern-day goalkeepers — deftly controlling and passing the ball even well beyond his penalty area.
His play contrasted sharply with the traditional keeper who would stick to his goal-line, leave creative moves to the 10 outfield players only and kick the ball up the field hoping it would somehow connect with a teammate.
As part of that dominant Dutch team that often included Johan Cruyff, Jongbloed set a record that still stands in international matches of 683 minutes for the Netherlands without conceding a goal.
Jongbloed played most of his professional career with Amsterdam club DWS — which later became FC Amsterdam — and then appeared for Roda JC Kerkrade and Go Ahead Eagles. He retired at the age of 44 after 717 matches. His final appearance made him the oldest player ever to feature in a Dutch professional match.
Jongbloed’s son, Eric, who also was a goalkeeper for DWS, was killed by a lightning strike during a match in 1984.