Koeman Blames De Jong and Barcelona for Persistent Injury Ahead of European Championship

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman has blamed Frenkie de Jong and his club Barcelona for the persistent ankle injury that has ruled the midfielder out of the European Championship. Despite de Jong’s struggles, Barcelona continued to play him. Koeman also addressed squad dynamics after other injuries.

Reuters | Updated: 12-06-2024 20:09 IST | Created: 12-06-2024 20:09 IST
Koeman Blames De Jong and Barcelona for Persistent Injury Ahead of European Championship
Ronald Koeman

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman said both Frenkie de Jong and his club Barcelona were culpable for the persistent ankle injury which has ruled the team's playmaker out of the European Championship. At the team's base in Germany four days before they play their first game at the tournament against Poland in Hamburg, Koeman sought to end persistent questioning about the loss of the midfielder.

"There is little point in answering questions about topics that are no longer current," he told reporters in Wolfsburg on Wednesday. "We haven't talked about it since we got here," he said of the dropping of De Jong after doctors said it was unlikely he would be fit enough to play.

The news came directly after the Dutch completed their warm-up programme with a 4-0 win over Iceland in Rotterdam and Koeman blamed Barcelona for persistently playing De Jong despite his struggles with the ankle injury throughout the season. "Of course, it also depends on the player himself. I have also spoken to Frenkie about this, but that remains between me and the player. I have a little more inside information, but I'm done with it now," Koeman said.

Midfielder Teun Koopmeiners was also ruled out due to a groin injury. Koeman only called up one replacement in Borussia Dortmund left wing back Ian Maatsen and said it was because he did not want to disturb the dynamics within the squad.

"Ian Maatsen was already in the pre-selection, he is a multi-functional player who has only been out of action for a week. All other options have been gone for three weeks, I don't know where they all are. "Within these 25 remaining players we can go in any direction. We play with three midfielders and we have five. And you can always move someone one spot back or someone from the back one line forward. It will never be an excuse in this tournament, no matter what happens, not to have called up a 26th player," Koeman said

"I have decided on the line-up for Sunday in Hamburg against the Poles. But we will not end this European Championship with the 11 players we will start with on Sunday. There is a lot of competition in this group." (Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ed Osmond)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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