Georginio Wijnaldum is delighted to have been appointed captain of the Netherlands for the European Championship however says the absence of Virgil van Dijk will probably be felt by the Dutch over the following month.
Wijnaldum takes over the skipper’s armband from his Liverpool teammate, whose long-term knee damage means he misses out on the event, which will get underway subsequent week.
“In fact the captain’s armband is an enormous enhance for me. It provides me a sense of satisfaction. I’ve come to an age when I’m extra concerned with the remainder of the group however on the similar time I really feel I can nonetheless be myself on this position,” he instructed reporters in Lagos, Portugal, on Monday the place the Dutch squad continued its preparations for the June 11 to July 11 event.
However he mentioned it was a significant blow that Van Dijk is not going to be on the Euros. “He’s our actual captain in all the pieces. He’s huge and robust and actually has the looks of a captain,” Wijnaldum mentioned.
Wijnaldum is one amongst 9 gamers within the 26-man squad who’ve beforehand competed in a significant event with the Netherlands, with the group’s final look being the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil the place it completed third.
“It’s unbelievable that we now have not performed at a World Cup or European Championships with the Netherlands for seven years. The Netherlands all the time appeared to routinely qualify. Lacking one event, that may occur. However two?
“That harm me quite a bit. Generally I watched these tournaments with gritted tooth, I may hardly bear it. I used to be on trip, however that felt unsuitable, as a result of throughout these tournaments I shouldn’t be on trip,” Wijnaldum added.
The Dutch need to make up for misplaced time after they tackle Austria, North Macedonia and Ukraine, who they meet first in Amsterdam on June 13, in Group C.
“We’re a group of buddies once more. We type a united entrance. In fact, that alone doesn’t assure we are going to win any matches, however it is extremely necessary. After the World Cup in 2014, the ambiance within the squad was a bit down for some time,” he signed off.