Wesley Sneijder has admitted Netherlands are no longer the major force in international football they once were.
The Dutch made it to the final at the 2010 World Cup, while reaching the semi-finals in Brazil four years later.
They failed to qualify for Euro 2016, though, and have struggled in the early stages of the 2018 World Cup qualification, too.
“We are no longer driving toward the stadium knowing that we will win and that we are just wondering by what margin we will win,” Sneijder told Metro.
“Those days are over and I miss that feeling.
“I hope that we can create a similar era in the future, even if I will not be part of it. This group of players has the potential and quality to reach that same level.”
Netherlands had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Sweden in their Group A opener, before beating Belarus 4-1 and then losing 1-0 at home to France in October.
They subsequently occupy third place in the table heading into their November internationals, but Sneijder feels they just been unlucky.
“We deserved three points against Sweden and I think a draw would have been a fair result against France,” he added.
“I really think we did not do a bad job.”
Netherlands take on Belgium in a friendly on Wednesday, before facing Luxembourg on Sunday in their fourth World Cup qualifying match.