Thursday, July 25, 2024

Van Dijk: Netherlands overestimated themselves ahead of Euro 2024

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 Jun 2024

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Virgil van Dijk believes the Netherlands may have overestimated their qualities ahead of Euro 2024, having scraped through Group D in third behind Austria and France.

A 3-2 defeat to Austria in their final group game saw Ronald Koeman’s Oranje pass up the opportunity to top a difficult pool and instead finish as one of the tournament’s best third-placed teams.

That could end up benefitting the side as they have landed on the opposite side of the draw to Germany, Spain, Portugal, France and Belgium.

The Oranje were given a 5.1% chance of winning the tournament by the Opta supercomputer before a ball was kicked, but their hopes are now estimated at 7% ahead of their last-16 tie with Romania.

The team’s performances have been fiercely criticised by the Dutch media, and Van Dijk says internal expectations may have been too high.

“Maybe we overestimate ourselves,” Van Dijk told reporters on Friday. “A lot had to be said and we had to analyse a lot.

“Things went completely wrong against Austria. It was very bad. We have talked about many aspects, now we have to show it.

“It was not the tactics where things went wrong. It was mainly the will to win, to win that second ball.

“You don’t have to talk about that with the coaches, the players must do that among themselves. So, we have talked about that, with harsh words.”

Van Dijk’s own performance was criticised following the Austria defeat, and the Liverpool man knows more will be required as the tournament progresses.

“I can completely understand the criticism,” he said. “I’m not stupid, I also know that I can do better and that it should be better, and that’s what I’m working on.

“I didn’t play my best game against Austria. It does affect me, I also think that things overall can and should be better. The whole team didn’t run, but I look first at myself. I could have brought much more.”

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