Dutch goalkeeping legend Edwin van der Sar has revealed his view that the Netherlands should not ascertain any thoughts of winning this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Will Netherlands reach the knockout phase in Brazil?
The 43-year-old, who currently works as a marketing director at Ajax, believes that a lack of quality within the squad means the focus should be on building towards a successful future.
Oranje reached the final in South Africa just four years ago, eventually losing out to Spain in extra-time, but then hit disaster at Euro 2012 by finishing bottom of their group without claiming a single point.
Louis van Gaal named no fewer than 13 players under the age of 24 in his provisional 30-man squad, and the manager certainly seems to have one eye cast onto future successes—even if his confirmation as Manchester United manager, as per BBC Sport, means that he will not be a part of it.
In an interview with FIFA.com, van der Sar seemed more than a little pessimistic regarding Oranje’s hopes of immediate accomplishment:
We are in a little bit more of a difficult time now, we don't have the ten or eleven world class players in our team – we have maybe three or four and they are getting older.
So it's about time that the young Dutch generation pick up the laurels from the older ones and hopefully can achieve, first with their clubs and then the national team, a little more success than over the last three or four years. No, three years, as four years ago we were in the final!
As the country’s most-capped player in history, having made 130 appearances during a 13-year international career, van der Sar’s words carry great weight and should warn fans from expecting too much too soon from Oranje’s young stars.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the legendary custodian also backed Ajax’s Jasper Cillessen to start as van Gaal’s No. 1.
The Netherlands begin their World Cup campaign against defending champs Spain on June 13.
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