Wijnaldum frustrated as Netherlands miss out on Nations League title

By John Skilbeck 10 June 2019 7887
Wijnaldum frustrated as Netherlands miss out on Nations League title

Georginio Wijnaldum rued a missed opportunity to land another major trophy after Netherlands fell to defeat in the Nations League final.

The midfielder celebrated Champions League success with Liverpool at the start of June and was chasing a stunning double.

But a 1-0 defeat to Portugal in Porto on Sunday scuppered that hope, and the only consolation was that the future for the Oranje looks bright after years in the doldrums.

They failed to qualify for Euro 2016 and last year's World Cup but look to be developing into a force again, with Ronald Koeman in charge.

Wijnaldum said: "I’m very disappointed of course. But I’m still proud we came back after so many difficult years. But that doesn’t make me less disappointed.

"We should have created more chances. We should be more effective in creating chances. We didn’t do that. We only had one shot on target, and that was basically the problem."

The former Newcastle man was joined in the Dutch engine room by a fellow 28-year-old in Atalanta's Marten de Roon.

De Roon said: "I’d happily lose this final, instead of next year during the Euros.

"It always sucks when you lose. Especially after the things we had shown over the last months. So we’re very disappointed we couldn’t show the same things as we did in the last games."

De Roon helped his club side reach the Coppa Italia final and earn a Champions League place through a third-place finish in Serie A, and he is relieved to be finally getting a summer break.

"This season has been brilliant," he added. "But that’s something I will look back on later, because now I’m disappointed after this lost final. We wanted to win it so badly.

"The Dutch team has shown we are developing as a young team. We’re a decent squad with much quality. If we’re in good shape, we can compete with the best countries in the world."

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