Thursday, July 25, 2024

Blind embracing ´different´ Euro 2024 role despite reduced playing time

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Jul 2024

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Daley Blind is embracing playing a more supportive role for the Netherlands, despite his lack of playing time at Euro 2024.

The 34-year-old is appearing at his fourth major tournament with the Oranje, who he represented at the 2014 and 2022 World Cups, as well as Euro 2020.

However, his playing involvement has been far more limited this time around, with the defender only appearing for the final minute of the 3-0 victory over Romania in the round of 16.

Blind was made aware this would be the case ahead of the tournament following a discussion with head coach Ronald Koeman, who encouraged him to use his vast experience to benefit the younger players in the squad.

“It’s different, and it takes some getting used to,” the Girona defender told reporters at a press conference on Thursday. “In this role, you try to help your team-mates, keeping them sharp and motivated. Some have it hard at times.

“You want to play yourself, of course, but it is a choice the coach has made, and I try to be a helping hand where necessary. I knew what my role would be after speaking to the coach before the tournament started.

“But the fact that this was going to be my role never meant for a moment that I didn’t want to come to the tournament. It’s a great honour to play for the Dutch team, and certainly at a final tournament.”

The Netherlands are gearing up for a quarter-final showdown with Turkiye in Berlin on Saturday.

England or Switzerland will await the winners in the last four, where the Oranje are aiming to advance for the first time in this competition since 2004.

“Hopefully, it will be a great match,” Blind added. “Turkiye bring a lot of emotion and passion, so we’ll have to be wary of that. It is a quarter-final at a major tournament, and that is always a tough event.”

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