Koen Leertouwer (Netherlands)

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Koen with his team. (standing third from right)

Big football nation, small country. Today I present to you my teammate Koen.

Koen began to play football with six.
In the Netherlands football is the main sport. Koen describes it like this: “My granddad played it, my dad played it and my friends play it.”
The Netherlands is a country that offers a lot of possibilities to play on an amateur level. Koen himself plays in the offensive midfield at his student club, called “the Knickerbockers”.
Our slogan is “more than football”, he says. More than football means in this case community and partying. “After every game we are having a drink together and also invite our opponents. Foreign studentclubs are always looking forward to play against us, even if they know they might lose”. One time the Knickerbockers beat a team with 6:2 and celebrated their victory together with the defeated until the early morning hours.

If Koen isn’t playing for the Knickerbockers he spends his free-time in the Stadium. Koen has a season ticket for the FC Groningen, who play in the first Dutch league.
“They play shit this season, but I had a lot of great experiences in my fan history”. As Fc Groningen played in the Uefa Europe League, Koen travelled to Braga (Portugal) and Liberec (Czech Republic) to support them. But according to Koen the greatest highlight was Groningens winning of the Dutch Cup in 2015 as they won 2:0 against PEC Zwolle.
Coming to the national team the Netherlands are quite similar to most European countries. “When the national team plays, everybody is going crazy, even those who normally don’t care about football suddenly watch the games”, reports Koen. The next world championship this won’t be the case-The Netherlands didn’t qualify for the World Cup. “We have some good players, but most of them are no real leaders in their clubs. Strootman for example, he plays good, but he isn’t the main responsible man at Rome. Except from Arjen Robben I miss this mentality to take responsibility and create something special on the pitch.”, Koen gives the reason for the bad current situation in his national team. And also for the future he is very critic. “I think our best days lay behind us, like the 80s or 2010 for example. You have to see that we are a small country and other countries caught up concerning aspects like developing younger players. In former days we also got the tactical advantage, but I guess this one is also gone”, says Koen.

One of the greatest football nation not participating at the world cup. Good for Koen that he still got the ESN team and the Knickebockers.

The dutch national team not long ago at the world cup 2010.
Eight years later, next year, they wont participate in this tournament.

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