Ronald Koeman is not surprised by the many injuries among the Dutch national team players. “I have never faced it so intensely as now,” the national coach said. “But that’s just because of the busy schedule. We’ve been complaining about it for years. But it all doesn’t seem to make any sense. It’s only going to get busier.”
Koeman realizes that he is able to form a good Dutch team of players who cannot play against France and Greece in the European Championship qualifiers next week. “This is a beautiful team,” he said. “But we have to deal with it. It’s not different. But it’s no coincidence that these are mainly muscle injuries. They are already burdened at the beginning of the season.”
Koeman is missing goalkeepers Mark Flocken and Justin Bigelow. Defenders Jurriën Timber, Matthijs de Ligt, Sven Botman and Tyrell Malacia are also unavailable. Midfielders Frenkie de Jong, Steven Berghuis and Teon Koopmeineers are also missing, as are strikers Noah Lange, Memphis Depay and Cody Jacobo.
“But there is no point in raising this matter again,” Koeman said. “The 2026 World Cup will be played in Canada, Mexico and the United States. In those World Cup qualifiers, we sometimes play three international matches a week. And the 2030 World Cup is a beast. It starts in three countries in the south.” “America and then we move to Morocco and Spain. We look like travelers.”
Koeman knows that clubs are not looking forward to all those international matches. “They pay the players’ salaries. But international football is part of it. But three international matches in a week is simply too much. You might be thinking about whether fewer national teams should participate in qualifying tournaments. In my time as a footballer I have “We played much fewer international matches.”
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