Football

Lieke Martens: ’Everything hit me’

Lieke Martens with the ball of the foot.

The aanvalster played Sunday in her comeback at FC Barcelona right back ninety minutes. A backlash did not happen and so Martens in the finals of the play-offs against Switzerland to go to the limit. To start Friday in the first match in The Galgenwaard.

“I am fortunately not so often injured, so for me it is also a matter of seeing how quickly I m’n rhythm again to tackle”, says Martens in the spelershome of FC Utrecht. “I worked hard to get here, I feel well and fit. Such duels, which really is something at stake, are fun to play.”

Martens feels the pressure on her shoulders. The 25-year-old Limburg excelled last year at the european CHAMPIONSHIPS in his own country, where they are Orange with her what about spot’s and goals to the European title led. Martens was chosen to be the best player of the tournament, and then also to the best football player of Europe and the world.

“Everything hit me. First I was chosen to be the best of the EK, which was a nice compliment. Then followed that nominees. I thought that was all super. Then I won them both. There has since been much altered. Everyone has very high expectations of me. I myself also always already had, but it is a bit different as the Netherlands is something expected of you. That I notice on and off the field.”

Opponents will Martens today often double coverage. “I am aware that I myself need to be developed further, to certain to do things differently. I get less space. Opponents know that if I’m dribbling, I always have the inside looking. There is a lot for me has changed, but I see there is also a nice challenge to develop myself. And my teammates can also help to get me better to play football.”

In the discussion about who has the Orange in the striker must stand, Vivianne Miedema or Lineth Beerensteyn, venture Martens. “Both are excellent strikers with their own qualities. I am glad that I choose to not have to worry. The competition within the group is increased, that we also need to get better.”

As European champions are the football it is mandatory to qualify for the world cup. But easy it is not, emphasizes Martens. “The whole of the Netherlands thinks that we ‘are’ going to do. But it doesn’t work. If you are European champion, does not mean that you all matches, just win. The Swiss have a great collective, they can very well defend. We will have to fight.”

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