Holland will be counting on van Persie, Robben and Sneijder
(Arjen Robben 32, Jeremain Lens 76)
They exited Euro 2008 as the most exciting team of the tournament.
They ended their 2010 World Cup campaign in painful fashion, losing to an Andres Iniesta extra-time winner in the final.
Holland are desperate to shake off the tag of football's "nearly men".
Judging from their comfortable 2-0 win over Wales in a friendly yesterday morning (Singapore time), they are almost ready for the World Cup in Brazil.
But to go all the way, they are counting on the same three men who took them to the brink of a first World Cup win four years ago.
With Robin van Persie, 30, Arjen Robben, 30, and Wesley Sneijder, 29, in his ranks, coach Louis van Gaal has a solid attacking platform to launch another tilt at football's biggest prize.
It was Robben who broke the deadlock against a Welsh side determined to defend in numbers in Amsterdam, following a van Persie shot which the goalkeeper could only parry.
The wing wizard has had a fine season with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and heads to Brazil arguably at the peak of his prowess.
He will also have redemption on his mind.
In that final against Spain in South Africa, he spurned the best chance of the game in normal time when set free on goal by Sneijder.
But, with only Iker Casillas to beat, he couldn't put the ball past the goalkeeper's legs.
Yesterday, however, Robben was at the right place at the right time to beat Wayne Hennessey to give Holland a well-deserved 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute.
Van Persie, the one who made it happen, will be eager to put a troubled season behind him.
As Manchester United laboured through their worst league campaign for years, van Persie drew plenty of flak.
His desire was questioned as a result. But there was no evidence of lethargy in an orange shirt.
In the build-up to Robben's goal, it was the striker's nifty footwork on the left side of the penalty box that opened up the space for his initial shot.
Despite missing the final six weeks of last season with a knee injury, he looked sharp and ready to take on the mantle of Holland's goal-machine.
He was withdrawn at half-time of the Wales match as a "precaution", after appearing to suffer from a groin problem.
But both coach and player played down the injury concern, insisting that he should be ready to take on Spain in their opening World Cup game next week.
An entire nation keeps its fingers crossed.
With van Persie out of the second half, it was Sneijder's turn to turn on the magic.
He was Holland's most outstanding performer at the last World Cup, one of the best players of the tournament.
After that, he fell out of favour at Inter Milan and eventually made the switch to a less glamorous league in Turkey where he turns out for Galatasaray.
Yet, he showed that he has lost none of his brilliance.
In the 76th minute, he released, from his own half, a sublime through-ball that in one fell swoop fooled the entire Welsh defence.
Robben latched on to the pass, zipped into the penalty box, before crossing for the gleeful Jeremain Lens to stab the ball into an open goal.
With Holland's three key men combining the way they are, Holland have every reason to be optimistic.
WESLEY SNEIJDER (Galatasaray)
Age 29; 98 caps.
The midfielder started his career at Ajax, but also won league titles with Real Madrid and Inter Milan, with whom he also won the Champions League. Won the “Silver Ball” as the second-best player of the 2010 World Cup and was also awarded the “Bronze Boot” as the third-highest scorer. Has scored 26 international goals
ARJEN ROBBEN (Bayern Munich)
Age 30; 74 caps.
The winger has won six league titles in England, Spain and Germany since 2005 and also the Champions League with Bayern Munich in 2013, scoring the winning goal in the final against Borussia Dortmund. Has extreme pace and a rocket-like shot. Has scored 22 times for Holland.