National coach Koeman criticizes Barcelona after the absence of the injured De Jong

Immediately after the match against Iceland, the KNVB announced that De Jong did not recover in time from the right ankle injury he suffered in April in Barcelona. That was his third injury of the season to the same joint. De Jong trained during a time apart from the group and participated for the first time on Sunday, although he was left out of the games.

Ronald Koeman, national coach: ‘We made the decision on Monday afternoon. We saw him and had the feeling that we could count on him from the second game. But he gets such a reaction that we shouldn’t take that risk. He will not be available for deployment for the next three weeks. Unfortunately, unfortunately, unfortunately. It’s a shame that we put his health first and others don’t. We know that he was not fit for the club. Barcelona took a risk with Frenkie, and we were left with the worst. There wasn’t a day when he thought he wouldn’t make it. It’s dramatic. It is a great European Championship and everyone wants to be there. “I told him that he would see him again in Barcelona after the Euro.”

The association’s medical staff had hoped De Jong would be able to return at some point in the group stage, but a study on Monday showed the ankle is not strong enough. Although De Jong did not have a great season at Barcelona, ​​partly due to his injuries, he is considered one of the best players in the country. He is normally the midfielder who sets the pace. De Jong, 27, played 54 international matches.

About the Author
Willem Vissers has been a football reporter for more than 25 years. by Volkskrant. He covered eight World Cups. In 2022 he was named sports journalist of the year.

Optimistic

Koeman could look forward to the match and the results of the 4-0 against Canada and Iceland: “With De Jong you are missing a player who can add value, but these practice matches have given me optimism for the Euro Cup.” He highlighted speed, which can be decisive, especially after an advantage, if the team manages to go back a little. “We have a lot of good football moments. We get opportunities. But there are also moments in a game when things need to be improved. We are not the biggest favorite.”

Teun Koopmeiners during a Dutch national team training session.Image BREAD

Concerns about the Koopmeiners

Koeman is also worried about Teun Koopmeiners, who left during the warm-up with a groin injury. Koeman fears for Koopmeiners’ performance during the Euro Cup. In any case, he will call a substitute, who will not be Quinten Timber, because he has not yet recovered from an injury. Another candidate is Ajax’s Kenneth Taylor. The Netherlands now have an impressive list of injured midfielders – Mats Wieffer and Marten de Roon were previously ruled out.

Colleagues were also surprised by the news. Defender Nathan Aké: ‘Frenkie is an important player for us. It was a shock, also because on Sunday he was still training. The coach told me shortly before dinner. Frenkie has done everything he can. Forward Cody Gakpo: ‘It’s a shame he has to leave, but in the end you also have to look at the ankle. If it is feasible. Health is first. This is probably the best decision for the course of his career.”

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