Netherlands' Danielle van de Donk Talks Alex Morgan, Relishes Underdog Role

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2019

LYON, FRANCE - JULY 03: #10 Danielle Van De Donk of Netherlands controls the ball during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Semi Final match between Netherlands and Sweden at Stade de Lyon on July 03, 2019 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Zhizhao Wu/Getty Images)
Zhizhao Wu/Getty Images

Netherlands midfielder Danielle van de Donk has predicted Alex Morgan won't score against them in the FIFA Women's World Cup final on Sunday, and she thinks the USA will underestimate the Dutch. 

Morgan is level on six goals with England's Ellen White in the race for the Golden Boot, while her tea-drinking celebration against the Lionesses in the semi-final has been met with controversy.

After Netherlands saw off Sweden 1-0 in their semi-final, Van de Donk was asked if Morgan might unveil a new celebration if she scores in the final, per Goal's Amee Ruszkai:

"I don't think she's going to score against us. I think [the underdog role] is the best role you can be in. I like it. I've always been the underdog. I think I got used to it. I think they…I don't know the English word, but I don't think they think we're that good."

The 27-year-old was asked if the word she was searching for was underestimate, to which she responded: "Yes, thanks. I think that is going to be an advantage for us. If they do [underestimate us], they do, and we'll show them wrong."

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She also said the Dutch will be focusing on their strengths ahead of the final and aim to "surprise" the defending champions.

The Orange Lionesses are the reigning European champions, but they're only in their second World Cup.

SB Nation's Kim McCauley thinks it's going to be a one-sided final in the Americans' favour:

In 2015, the United States faced Japan in a rematch of the 2011 final, which the latter had won on penalties. Team USA eased to a 5-2 victory, having raced to a 4-0 lead after just 16 minutes.

They remain the dominant power in women's football, and football writer Rich Laverty has been impressed with them in France:

The Dutch have some impressive talent in their ranks, though, from combative midfielder Van de Donk to world-class forward options in Lieke Martens and Vivianne Miedema.

They will be the underdogs on Sunday, but they're capable of punishing any complacency from Jill Ellis' side.

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