Dries Mertens is with his 31 years old meanwhile, one of the veterans in the Red Devils. The Belgian already has 66 caps to his counter, where he thirteen times to score came. Mertens feels now a lot more important to the Red Devils than before.
The world cup in Russia is already the third major tournament for Mertens, after the world cup in Brazil in 2014 and the european CHAMPIONSHIPS in France in 2016. His role within the team is therefore changed, ” he said Tuesday during a press conference in Tubize. “I feel that I am important for the group than a few years ago and now feel even more appreciated. That difference is really noticeable, I think. I am now more of a fixed value and must be less raids. But I do not feel always 31 years old you know. If I sometimes in addition to other 31-year-olds course, I realize that especially,” said Mertens.
That Mertens in a cheerful mood, appeared when he was asked what he takes from the previous big tournaments. “My soccer shoes”, he said today. “No, seriously. The desire to win should always be there. When, after the defeat against Wales in the quarter-finals of the european CHAMPIONSHIPS, came home, did that in a lot of pain. We didn’t realise that every match the last and that we really all had to do to continue. That awareness should be there now. We should at this tournament harder.”
Hard enough, of course, not to win a world CHAMPIONSHIP. Mertens went to for advice when his team mate at Napoli and Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina. Who won with Spain, although if bankzitter, in 2008 and 2012 european CHAMPIONSHIPS and 2010 world CHAMPIONSHIPS. “Reina told me that he has no concrete tips could give. He replied that when they just a young group who was hungry was and that Spain is also a bit of luck. That hunger, we must now also show. Against large countries, we have the always difficult. See but to the friendly against Spain (0-2 loss), when we all were weggetikt. We must not be frightened, and there must always be full of go for it.”
Mertens has confidence in the current selection, and will find that the qualities of the national team especially at the front. “We are not only strong in ball possession, but also in the transition we have our qualities. Our biggest strength is that we are now at the front with z’n all pressure, we contest for the ball, and then may switch. The stamp of coach Martinez is also very noticeable. Under Marc Wilmots, we played mostly man to man, but now we put together high pressure. That can make a difference”, concluded Mertens.
Disappointment with Napoli
Dries Mertens commented Tuesday, disappointed back on the seizoenseinde. His club, Napoli lost a few days of the end of the title against Juventus. “Normally you will with 91 points, always a champion, not now,” said Mertens at a press conference in Tubize.
Napoli lost on her after the long battle in Italy. According to Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri given his players a mental tap when she was in the hotel for the match Inter Milan-Juventus looked. Inter was 2-1, but Juventus won in extremis with 2-3. “We followed the race in the hotel, and were euphoric when Inter the profit seemed to address. And then we have a mental thump,” said Mertens. “But I don’t think the title is lost. We had 96 points to get caught, not only would Juventus there 98 have achieved, I think. The Juventus players are mentally just a lot further than we are. We have a young team and should now learn from our mistakes. One thing is for sure: I would make the match not live.”
Despite the narrow titelverlies is the 31-year-old Belgian satisfied with his season. Mertens came this season 49 times in action for Napoli and was good for 22 goals and 12 assists. At the end of the season he was called to the bank referenced by the return of Polish striker Arkadiusz Owned. “I’ve had a long time about had it with the coach. Sarri saw me as a striker and wanted me not to the edge point, so I am often on the couch ended up. Owned had to be fit for the world cup. I can also understand that.”
With Carlo Such as suggested Napoli last week, his new trainer. Mertens could all just talk with Such, but was still surprised by his appointment. “I don’t know how it all turned out and snap the also not good. For me, it was so scare when I heard the news. Sarri is not yet discharged, but yet is Such as our new coach. Soon everything will hopefully be. I have not so long with Such voice. He seems a friendly man, but I told him that I now do not want to deal with. The focus is on the world cup”, concluded Mertens.
Casteels hopes on first major tournament with the Red Devils
For the position of third goalkeeper in the 23-strong selection of Roberto Martinez seems to Koen Casteels is currently preferred to enjoy at Matz Sels.
Only after the practice game against Portugal on Saturday hurts the coach, the knot finally through and until then, it’s still afraid to wait for the goalkeeper of Wolfsburg, which by a tibia fracture the world cup of 2014 saw pass away, and for the european CHAMPIONSHIPS of two years ago passed was by Jean-François Gillet. “It would indeed be nice if I can now go”, well-known the goalkeeper Tuesday during a press conference in Tubize. “Four years ago there was that major injury and that was quite a difficult period, but also because I was for the start of the new season at Wolfsburg is still not all the way back. Now I am happy that I have my level found to have improved. With 110 matches in the Bundesliga, I also already have some experience, that plays a role. I still think that it is still always better.”
In the selection of 23 would Casteels third goalkeeper after Thibaut Courtois and Simon Mignolet. “The chance is of course small that you than to play due, but you must always be ready. It doesn’t matter whether you’re first, second or third goalkeeper. You are part of a group and so it is important to be equally hard to work out: everyone works towards the same goal. I also don’t know whether I eventually will. The only thing that I can do is a good season to play and train hard, ultimately it is the trainer who decides.”
Wolfsburg is currently in turbulent times. Knew it two years in a row, just to the degratie to escape, but that did Casteels not to excel. Kicker rewarded him with the trophy for Goalkeeper of the Year in the Bundesliga. “It is certainly not the intention of there three years of” well-known Casteels. “The ambition of the club is also a lot higher: they want at least Europa League. The last years lacked the stability, with multiple trainers and technical managers. I hope the club has learned from his errors, because the potential is certainly present. After the season follows there is, anyway, a conversation with our new technical director.”
Wolfsburg is far removed from the European stage, and therefore the performance of Casteels in our country a bit underexposed. “I had to be at a Champions League team play, people would have that different view, performance to be better appreciated. Now was the fight against the degradation, especially in the second half of the season. When are we really subsided. Fortunately, we have a stressful season yet positive conclusion,” decided the goalkeeper.