Euro 2020 briefing: Title holders Portugal knocked out of Euro 2020
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Pundits on Dutch television have claimed that Memphis Depay will face a rude awakening at Barcelona if his performances at Euro 2020 are anything to go by. The forward managed two goals in the Netherlands’ four games at the tournament before they were cast aside by Czech Republic on Sunday afternoon.
It seems as though Depay is taking the brunt of the backlash after his nation’s exit, despite Matthijs de Ligt receiving a red card for a deliberate handball in the second half.
Dutch TV’s Johan Derksen and Tene van der Gijp said: “He has played four games for the Oranje and played very poorly. He acts like a star off the field. Overnight. Then do it on the field, too.
“He has played four games and never once lived up to his behaviour outside.
“If he plays there for half an hour like now, Messi will touch him on the shoulder and ask him: ‘Hey, have you been playing football for a long time?’
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“In the Netherlands we know that this is his way of playing. It is his game. With every ball he has he will try the hardest thing there is. Nobody will accept him in Barcelona.”
Depay leaves the tournament as his side’s second-top scorer, only behind Gini Wijnaldum, but the forward failed to create anything meaningful during their last 16 tie.
The 27-year-old completed a free transfer to Barcelona during the course of the tournament which will see him reunite with his old national team boss Ronald Koeman.
The Dutchman became Barca’s third free signing of the window after Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia, in a summer characterised by maximising a meagre transfer budget.
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The pundits’ harsh comments about his transition to La Liga may not be far off the mark given the level of competition for attacking spots at the Catalan club.
Depay will have to hit the ground running as he walks into a swarm of talented front-men including Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembele and now Aguero.
Earlier in his career, the PSV youth product had a largely unsuccessful stint at Manchester United where he was given the prestigious number seven shirt worn by the likes of David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Eric Cantona.
In 2017, he moved on to Lyon in an attempt to rediscover the kind of form he had shown in the Eredivisie as a youngster.
It proved to be a fantastic decision as Depay developed into a versatile attacker capable of playing across the front-line.
Last season, his 20-goal haul in Ligue 1 left him only behind the electric Kylian Mbappe in the domestic charts. That is the kind of form which would win over the Barca fans.
Although emotions in the Netherlands were running high after their shock defeat on Saturday, the comments on Depay should serve as a wake up call before he turns out for one of the biggest clubs on Earth.
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