‘Eventually after falling comes getting up again’
Memphis Depay will miss the Nations League final round next week. The Atlético Madrid striker is in the Netherlands, though. Friday night he was at a four-a-side tournament he organized in Rotterdam.
Depay returned from injury in April, but fell out again on his return to Atlético Madrid. A calf injury forced him to miss the Nations League final round. The Netherlands starts next Wednesday against Croatia.
Depay organizes four-on-four tournament: ‘Skillset helps you as a footballer’
In Rotterdam, he was involved in a four-on-four tournament, meant to encourage youth to play soccer. And to work on their technique. Street soccer in the hall. “Still everyone wants to become a soccer player, but you don’t just succeed,” Depay says. “Almost every top soccer player used to play street soccer.”
“To my mind, kids are playing soccer less and less in the streets. There are a lot more distractions these days. But playing soccer in the street does offer you a skillset that can help you as a soccer player.”
He would have liked to kick a ball around himself, but that is not in the cards in both the Nations League and the four-a-side tournament. Depay says he will have to work hard to make a quick return.
“I have to work hard now to return as soon as possible and I’m not hiding from that,” the striker said. “In the end, after falling down comes getting up again. I have to get through this and want to come back stronger.”
Depay, vice-top scorer of the Dutch national team, thinks the Dutch will perform even without him in the Final Four. “We come there with new talents who are also going to step up again. There are experienced guys in there who have played finals in the Champions League. We just have a very good squad. I’m confident.”