Netherlands head coach Frank de Boer: "Shevchenko has built a strong team, Ukraine has proved it in big matches"
The head coach of the Dutch national team, which is Ukraine's opponent at Euro 2020, Frank de Boer held an online meeting with journalists, where he spoke about the preparation of the "orange" for the European Championship.
About the difference in work in the club and the national team
This is a completely different job. When you work in a club, you are with the players 24/7 every day and throughout the year. And in the national team you may not see them for a month, two or even three. There is a difference in approaches to coaching. In the club you are constantly involved in daily work, in the national team the work is not so intense. You have two weeks to hold a meeting and put as much information and requirements into the players' heads as possible. It can be difficult for players, because you need to do a lot of work in such a short time. But I am very happy to work in the national team, proud to lead the national team and look forward to Euro 2020.
About the group in the final part of Euro 2020
We have a rather difficult group. Austria and Ukraine are very decent teams. They have repeatedly demonstrated that they have the potential to win in the top teams. Northern Macedonia may not be a favorite, but it may come as a surprise. We got into an interesting group and have all the resources to get out of it to the playoffs.
About the national team of Ukraine
Last week we analyzed the game of the national team of Ukraine. In what key does this team operate, what are its strengths and weaknesses. We can say that now we have enough information about this team. It is a strong team with a good selection of performers. Malinovsky, Zinchenko, Yarmolenko ...
I think Ukrainians have been experiencing mixed emotions lately, because at first they managed to win a draw against the world champions, and then lost points in the game against Kazakhstan. I also watched their match with Spain, when Ukraine won - 1: 0.
Andriy Shevchenko has built a strong team, and especially the national team of Ukraine proved it in big matches. We cannot underestimate this team and, of course, we respect it.
About the Austrian national team
The Austrian national team deserved to be at Euro 2020. The Austrians have many talented players, and in general it is a football nation. Many performers play in strong clubs and competitive championships.
Maybe Austria's latest results were not perfect: the same draw - 2: 2 with Scotland and defeat - 0: 4 from Denmark. But Franco Fody has a close-knit team that can use different playing styles if needed. We need to be fully focused if we want to achieve a positive result in the match with the Austrians. Still, this team has individually strong performers who can make a difference on the football field.
The fact that the national team of the Netherlands will play all group matches in Amsterdam
It is an advantage for us that we will play all the matches of the group at home. I hope that fans will be able to be present at our games, given the difficult situation with COVID-19. I also hope that this will help us get good results. You have to win in home matches. And most importantly - 101% to teach on the football field for a common goal.
About the transfer of Euro 2020 to the summer of 2021 and the impact of this factor on the national team of the Netherlands
Postponing the final part of the European Championship is sometimes an advantage and sometimes not. In a certain period of time, all players can be healthy and ready to play for the national team, and in other cases you are missing a number of important performers. If Euro 2020 had taken place last year, Memphis Depay would hardly have helped us. And for us it is important that a player of this caliber is 100% recovered from injury before the European Championship.
On the other hand, footballers are seriously preparing for such big tournaments. I remember well how long I lived in anticipation of the 1998 World Cup. Throughout the season, I tried to show good football for the club, but first of all my thoughts were directed towards France, because the World Cup or Europe - these are the most important tournaments in the career of any player. I am sure that our players strive to show their best side and will be as focused as possible on good performances for the national team at Euro 2020.
About the feeling in working with the national team that will play in Euro 2020
It is a great honor for me to be involved in the European Championship. I am really looking forward to this tournament, proud of our players and fans. This is a big tournament for the Netherlands. I have no doubt that each of the guys who will be called up to the national team will give themselves 100% to play in the tournament.
The mentality of the Dutch is such that you are always expected to do your best. When a team goes through difficult times and plays unsuccessful qualification cycles, it is ruthlessly criticized. When you play a series of good games - the team is called almost the main favorite in the fight for victory in the tournament.
Yes, we have taken qualitative steps in our development. The team has young and already quite experienced players: Frankie de Jong, Matthew de Ligt, Virgil van Dyck. We have a good fusion of experience and youth.
About the chances of the Dutch national team to win Euro 2020
Of course, we are one of the favorites of the tournament. But we should not forget which teams, apart from us, will fight for the main trophy. France, Belgium, Spain, Germany - these teams, no matter what form their players are in, will always be considered the main favorites. But we are close to them. Portugal, England, and Italy are also serious contenders.
When our team is in the best shape, it is able to beat any opponent. To win Euro 2020, you will need to play seven games at the highest level and probably have a little luck. But we are moving towards a great goal - to win Euro 2020.
About plans in preparation for Euro 2020
95% of plans for Euro 2020 are ready. But you can never be sure that something will not change at the last minute. There is always the possibility of some surprises, because we live in a time of pandemic COVID-19. Anything can happen. Moreover, at the upcoming European Championship, its participants will have to travel a lot - from training camps to matches and vice versa.
As for our plans, we are going to hold friendly matches with the national teams of Scotland and Georgia before the first game. I hope we will approach the match with Ukraine in full combat readiness.
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