Luuk de Jong no longer available for Oranje: ‘Was a great honor’

Luuk de Jong no longer available for Oranje: ‘Was a great honor’

NOS Soccer

Luuk de Jong has announced via Twitter that he is quitting as an Orange international. “It was quite an honor. Thanks for all the memories,” stated the 32-year-old PSV striker, who wore the shirt of the Dutch national team 39 times (including 31 times as a substitute).

“For now, it feels like the right time to make this decision, because the Netherlands is starting a new qualifying series for the European Championship this month,” De Jong revealed in a press release. “I want to be able to fully focus on PSV in the coming years.”

Ronald Koeman, who has begun his second term as national coach and today announced his selection for the upcoming European Championship qualifiers, confesses to being somewhat surprised by De Jong’s announcement. “But I understand his explanation that he wants to concentrate 100 percent on PSV. We are going to miss him. Both on the field and off the lines.”

Debut in 2011

De Jong made his debut in the national jersey on Feb. 9, 2011, when Bert van Marwijk had him substitute in the practice international against Austria. He scored a total of eight goals in Oranje.

Luuk de Jong during his Orange debut in 2011

De Jong scored perhaps his most important international goal in October 2019. He helped the Netherlands to the 2-1 in the European Championship qualifier against Northern Ireland as a pinch-hitter in the 91st minute. That game was eventually won 3-1, sparing the Dutch a difficult route to the final round.

His last appearance in the Dutch team was, as it turns out, during last year’s World Cup in Qatar. He made one appearance there: as a substitute in the quarterfinal against eventual world champion Argentina, which was lost on penalties. De Jong’s penalty was not to blame: he hit the target.

That World Cup was his third final tournament: De Jong also belonged to the Oranje selection at the 2012 and 2020 ECs (which was not finished until 2021). At the latter EC, he was allowed to fill in against Ukraine and Austria.

Kayleigh Williams