Depay is full of confidence: ‘Even the weight is fantastic’
When the Dutch national team starts the European Championship on Sunday evening with the game against Ukraine, most eyes will be on Memphis Depay.
The attacker has developed into one of the most important players in the Orange squad of national coach Frank de Boer and will probably function in a two-striker system with Wout Weghorst.
Depay admits to the NOS that he is in the shape of his life and is looking forward to the European Championship, after having missed a major final tournament with the Dutch national team twice.
“It feels good to be in top form,” Depay begins. “I’m comfortable in my own skin. I would like to maintain that return. We were on the scale today and even the weight was fantastic. I don’t think you can plan top form. As a footballer you are always looking for that, but that is something elusive that you have to grasp, while you don’t know what it is.
I think it’s nice that many people look at me. That’s a compliment that you are important to the team. That you are decisive. You have to convert that into quality and radiate that you want that too.”
According to the protagonist himself, the eyes have always been on him in recent years, whether it was inside or outside the lines. “If you have the form, you have to keep it,” Depay continues. “
That determines whether you will eventually participate in the absolute top. Expectations have always been high since I made my debut in Orange. You see it in the last international matches that I have been involved in goals.
There are always points of improvement that I “You expect a lot from yourself, especially now that it’s all about and you’re at such a big tournament. After missing the tournament twice, you definitely want to pop.”
Depay is, certainly due to the absence of captain Virgil van Dijk, the figurehead of the Orange squad and has frequently appeared in front of the camera during interviews in recent days.
Something that has also been different for a while. “A love-hate relationship with the Dutch national team? I don’t want to call it that,” said Depay. “Previously with the media. There was a period when we would rather not talk. Or at least I wouldn’t talk to you. Everyone knows that.
Everyone also knows that you grow as a person. I was a bit searching about that. Now I’m older “At some point you get to know the people in the media better. You see them more often. It hasn’t always been good. That has to do with the growth of the player and the experience. Of course my role has also changed.”
The striker got the laughs on his hand on Sunday evening after the won friendly match against Geörgie (3-0) when he spoke about ‘Wouter Weghorst’, the man with whom he was in the attack.
Weghorst made his first international goal on a pass from Depay, after which the latter slipped. “Haha, that was a slip of the tongue,” admits Depay. “I thought: should I still correct it? Then I thought: I’ll tell him later that I made a mistake.” In addition to Weghorst, De Boer also has the option of posting Donyell Malen or Luuk de Jong in the striker position next to Depay