After Curaçao named Patrick Kluivert as an adviser, the Caribbean nation may be able to call upon a number of Dutch footballers as they look to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

  • By Michael Bell
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170571670_Bochum_VillaKluivert may have only signed a six month deal in charge of Curaçao, but the former Netherlands international can start the small island on a path to their first ever World Cup. Later this month Curaçao will start their campaign to be in Russia in three years with a two legged qualifying tie against Montserrat, and Kluivert will soon be tasked with naming the squad to see them into the next round.

Curaçao may only have a population of around 153,000, but the nation can call upon a number of Dutch born footballers who have roots in the Caribbean island. FC Twente defender Cuco Martina has eleven caps for the island despite being born in Rotterdam, while Excelsior forward Guyon Fernandez, and Willem II’s Charlton Vicento are also regulars for the CONCACAF nation. To reach the World Cup however, Curaçao will need a fresh injection of talent, and luckily there are plenty of players who Kluivert can try and convince to switch allegiances from Netherlands to Curaçao.

Between the posts Rowendy Sumter, who plays for local side Jong Holland, has been the number one of choice, but Curaçao could call upon the services of Vitesse Arnhem’s keeper Eloy Room, who has been in great form in the Eredivisie this season. At 26 Room has yet to receive a Netherlands call up, and with Jasper Cillessen, Jeroen Zoet, and Tim Krul ahead of him in the pecking order, his first cap doesn’t look close.

Twente defender Darryl Lachman can shore up the defence, while Aston Villa’s Leandro Bacuna, Brighton’s Kemy Agustien, and ex-Ajax youngster Roly Bonevacia can all be added to the midfield. Ajax youngster Riechedly Bazoer is eligible to play for Curaçao, but at 18 he will still have his sights set on a Netherlands call-up.

antonia fgronIts in the attack where Kluivert has the most options, with speedy Groningen winger Jarchinio Antonia available for a call-up, while Elson Hooi, and NAC Breda’s Felitciano Zschusschen could also add depth to the wings. Up front PSV Eindhoven’s Jurgen Locadia could be convinced to switch allegiances, but a more likely addition could be ex-RKC youngster Charlison Benschop, who has scored 22 goals in 44 league games for Fortuna Dusseldorf since 2013. Excelsior’s Guyon Fernandez and Willem II’s Charlton Vicento are already available up front.

Possible Curaçao XI Room (Vitesse), Wall (RKT), Lachman (Twente), Martina (Twente), Fecunda (Helmond Sport) , Bonevacia (Wellington), Agustien (Brighton), Bacuna (Aston Villa), Antonia (Groningen), Fernandez (Excelsior), Benschop (Dusseldorf)

Kluivert may not be able to convince all the players above to turn out for Curaçao in the next few weeks, but it shows how much talent is actually available for the small island. For those players who may not make the Netherlands national team, Curaçao offers a number a way into international football, and who knows an injection of Dutch footballers by Kluivert could steer the 146th ranked nation to the World Cup in three years.

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