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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 July 2024

Euro 2024: Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk okay with Dutch criticism

The Dutch edged Poland 2-1 in their opening game in Hamburg and were fortunate not to lose to a wasteful France in their second match in Leipzig, escaping with a 0-0 draw

Reuters Wolfsburg Published 25.06.24, 11:09 AM
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Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk said he understands the criticism of his team at the Euro 2024 and agreed with some of the sentiments despite the Dutch picking up four points out of a possible six in Group D.

The Dutch edged Poland 2-1 in their opening game in Hamburg and were fortunate not to lose to a wasteful France in their second match in Leipzig, escaping with a 0-0 draw.

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"Against Poland we played well for 60 minutes and created many chances," Van Dijk told reporters. "But we were also under pressure. Against France we were more compact as a team.

"Keeping a clean sheet against the World Cup runners-up is good. But in possession of the ball, we were very poor."

The Dutch team came under fire from TV pundits and newspaper columnists following the game against France but Van Dijk was unruffled by the criticism.

"Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion," he added. "It doesn't bother me. If it irritated me, I would have a very unpleasant life.

"Expectations are high, also among ourselves. We have a good team; I sincerely think so. We want to show it in big matches. After the match against France, we as players clearly said to each other what needs to be improved.

“We can and must do better than we did against France. We can still make progress in this European Championship.

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