Advertisement

Home / Sports / Football / Dutch dream: Better result than ’14 Cup

Dutch dream: Better result than ’14 Cup

Senegal sweat over Mane’s absence, Netherlands to miss Memphis Depay
The 2022 Qatar World Cup emblem shines brightly during the opening ceremony at the Al Bayt Stadium, a 50-minute drive from Doha, on Sunday. The ceremony started with a presentation narrated by actor Morgan Freeman and Qatari YouTuber Ghanim Al-Muftah, who read out a verse from the Quran about diversity. This was followed by a duet rendition, of the official World Cup song Dreamers, by South Korean popstar Jungkook of BTS and Qatari star Fahad Al Kubaisi.
The 2022 Qatar World Cup emblem shines brightly during the opening ceremony at the Al Bayt Stadium, a 50-minute drive from Doha, on Sunday. The ceremony started with a presentation narrated by actor Morgan Freeman and Qatari YouTuber Ghanim Al-Muftah, who read out a verse from the Quran about diversity. This was followed by a duet rendition, of the official World Cup song Dreamers, by South Korean popstar Jungkook of BTS and Qatari star Fahad Al Kubaisi.
Angshuman Roy

Our Bureau   |   Al Rayyan   |   Published 21.11.22, 03:45 AM

Memphis Depay will miss out on The  Netherlands’ opening World Cup game against Senegal, coach Louis van Gaal said on Sunday.

The forward hurt his hamstring playing for the Dutch against Poland in the Nations League in September but this week told reporters he was fit to play after participating in training.

Advertisement

“It will be a blow for us just like Sadio Mane missing for Senegal is a blow for them,” Van Gaal said of Monday’s Group A clash against the African champions in Doha.

Van Gaal has insisted that players selected for matches be 100 per cent match fit and in form. The Dutch coach believes his boys are keen to deliver like never before.

The 71-year-old, in his third stint as national coach and who led the Dutch to a third-place finish in Brazil in 2014, said the quality in his squad is even higher than the team he brought to Brazil.

“I believe that this group of players are well-connected to each other together, they work well together in a professional way, and I think that will always contribute to success,” Van Gaal told a news conference on Sunday.

The coach, who won the Champions League in 1995 with a brilliant generation of young Dutch players at Ajax Amsterdam, said he has high expectations.

“In 2014 we came third with a squad that was of lesser quality than this one, and with this group I expect more. It depends not only on technical skills and tactical skills, but it also depends on a bit of luck, that you score at the right time and that the others don’t score,” he said.

“I think that we could become world champions, but there are squads that, in my view, are at a higher level than my squad ... so I’m saying we can become a world champion. Whether we become world champion is another thing, but we can.”

Van Gaal was flanked by Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk, who will not have to face his former Liverpool teammate Mane in the opener.

The Senegalese striker has been ruled out of the tournament due to injury.

“I called him the next day in the morning, obviously I wanted to know how he was first and foremost... just as a friend I wanted to know how he was,” Van Dijk said.

“There was a little bit of hope, everyone thought, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to make this tournament.

“I feel sad for him,” the central defender added.

The big regret

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse said Mane’s absence from the World Cup will be felt by fans across the globe.

“The whole football family is saddened by what has happened because he was the second-best player in the world and he represents the African continent, as well as representing Senegal.”

Senegal forward Krepin Diatta described Mane as the team’s leader.

“He is our best player. He’s a leader in that respect. Of course, we would have liked him to be here but God decided otherwise.”

Written with inputs from Reuters



Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
 
 
 
Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. All rights reserved.