Do you miss a single being and everything is depopulated?
This is one of the fears of all the supporters of the Netherlands since the announcement of Virgil Van Dijk's package for the Euro.
Insufficiently recovered from his rupture of the cruciate ligaments of the knee contracted last October, the 29-year-old central defender announced the painful one month ago.
"This is very bad news for us and for him," coach Frank De Boer told local media
I am sad for him because he is our captain and he has never participated in a final phase of a big tournament. In the absence of their captain, the main architect of the return of the “Oranjes” to the highest level, the Dutch, among the favorites of bookmakers a year ago, are advancing with less certainty when it comes time to enter. competing in their first international competition since their third place at the 2014 World Cup. And as bad news never comes alone, other absentees have been added on the sidelines of hosting Ukraine in Amsterdam (9pm,
beIn Sports, M6
Foremost among them is Juventus defender Matthijs De Ligt, hit in the groin and forfeit this first match in Group C (with Austria and North Macedonia).
Thus, facing the main opponent of the group (first in its qualifying group ahead of Portugal), the Netherlands will have to do without their titular hinge.
While De Ligt could be reinstated for the rest of the competition, this is not the case with number 1 goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, who left the team rally after testing positive for Covid-19 in early June.
Wijnaldum, Memphis and De Jong called to take over
Amputee of key elements, the Dutch defensive sector will count on the two additional lines not to spoil this long-awaited return of the “Oranjes” on the international scene, while they will perform at each group match in front of their audience of the Johann Amsterdam Cruyff Arena. The only pitfall, another midfielder left the base camp in the person of Manchester United player Donny Van De Beek, who will not be replaced in the list of 26. “We have enough midfielders in the workforce to compensate for this package, explained Frank De Boer. I prefer to leave the group as it is. ”
Especially since a few high-class players remain in the Batavian workforce. Starting with the neo-Parisian Georginio Wijnaldum, promoted to captain in the absence of Van Dijk. At 30, the ex-Liverpool player is at the top of his game thanks to a complete range of play. A complementary profile to that of Frenkie De Jong, which has taken on a new dimension in recent months with FC Barcelona. At the Euro, the two men will be associated in the middle in a 3-5-2 set up by the coach but not to the liking of the supporters, who flew a banner “Frank, play 4-3-3!” above the training center.
Contested since his appointment as coach to replace Ronald Koeman, the architect of the Batavian comeback appointed to the Barça bench, De Boer will count just as much on Memphis Depay, who is taking more and more responsibilities with his country, he wore the captain's armband at the exit of Wijnaldum during the two preparation matches against Scotland (2-2) then Georgia (3-0), where he also scored three goals. Now associated with the slender Wout Weghorst (20 goals in the Bundesliga this season), Depay intends to justify his status as headliner in order to reach at least the semi-finals, goal set by the staff of the selection. "I can always improve in order to assert myself as a more important player for my country",he said in an interview with the Parisian. And his country will need his talent and that of the preceding ones to claim to succeed the golden generation (Van Basten, Rijkaard, Koeman, Gullit), victorious of the one and only title in the history of the country during the Euro 1988.