Memphis Depay is working with confidence towards his fiftieth international match for the Dutch national team, in which Estonia is the opponent in Tallinn on Monday. The attacker has experienced a lot at Orange in six years and sees many positive developments in the last year.
"Fifty international matches, that makes me proud," said Memphis on Sunday at the Orange press conference at the Lilleküla Stadium. "A lot has happened in all those years and as a team we have certainly grown in the last period. That too is something to be proud of."
The 25-year-old Memphis is, after Clarence Seedorf, Wesley Sneijder, Patrick Kluivert and Rafael van der Vaart, the youngest Dutch national ever to reach the milestone of fifty international matches. The attacker of Olympique Lyon made his debut against Turkey in October 2013, when players like Robin van Persie, Rafael van der Vaart and Arjen Robben were still active in the Orange.
"At that time there were many big names and it was different as a young player. That has to do with age and with characters. Times have changed. The team spirit has improved in the last year, as well as the good results."
The Orange trained on Sunday-evening in the Lilleküla Stadium. (Photo: Pro Shots)
"I'm happy here"
Memphis also feels at home in the Dutch team, where he can play differently compared to Lyon. "At my club I now play from the side and at Orange I have a free role," said Memphis, who scored eight times under the national coach Ronald Koeman and gave eight assists. "I prefer that free role. I am happy here."
The former player of PSV and Manchester United is also pleased with the interaction with his teammates.
"We are becoming more responsive to each other. Some players just have to look at each other and then it is clear what needs to be done. That steadfastness is positive. And we have a mission: to reach the European Championship. We have to take another step against Estonia in the right direction. "
Estonia against the Netherlands starts on Monday at 8.45 p.m. (Dutch time) in the Lilleküla Stadium and is led by Ukrainian arbitrator Sergii Boiko. At the same time, Northern Ireland is playing against Germany in Belfast. With twelve points from four games, the Northern Irish are the only country that is still without group loss in group C.
Position in group C European Championship qualification
- 1. Northern Ireland 4-12 (+5)
- 2. Germany 4-9 (+9)
- 3. The Netherlands 3-6 (+5)
- 4. Belarus 5-3 (-7)
- 5. Estonia 4-0 (-12)
See also: Koeman is considering changes at Orange against 'less on paper' Estonia