With Internazionale he finished second in the Series A, reached the final of the Europa League and was also named best defender of the Italian league. Nevertheless, Stefan de Vrij is mainly a banker with the Dutch national team. This international period seems to change that.
Friend and Juventus player Matthijs de Ligt is missing from the selection of interim bond coach Dwight Lodeweges because of an undergoing shoulder operation. And so De Vrij seems to be able to put on the orange shirt for the first time since October 16, 2018.
“I always come up with the idea here that you might be needed. Of course I’ve played less in recent years and now I have a better chance. But you always have to be ready to play”, De Vrij responds for the first training of the Dutch national team this week.
“I don’t assume I’m playing now, but I hope so. I don’t think: new national coach, new opportunities. I always do my best and try to get the maximum out of it every day. I try to make sure that the national team manager chooses me.”
Listen here to the conversation between Stefan de Vrij and Jeroen Elshoff:
The 28-year-old former Feyenoorder has worked his way up to the Italian superpower. De Vrij’s disappointment after the lost Europa League final was big. Also because he saw his direct rival and fellow nationalist Luuk de Jong score twice and end up celebrating.
“Yes, I’ve spoken to him again“, laughs De Vrij. “Now we’re teammates again, that’s how it goes. But it’s sour that we haven’t been able to win that match. That’s always a disappointment.”
The Europa League final was for Internazionale the eighteenth game in two months, all because of the forced coronapause, of course. De Vrij participated in almost all matches.
“It’s been a long and special season”, De Vrij responds. “We have been playing all summer and have only been able to rest for a week and now we can go again. So it has been busy.”
The few days off he spent partly with Matthijs de Ligt in Sardinia. “Yes, we were close to each other and agreed. He is doing well. He needs some rehabilitation now.”
Like many fellow internationals, De Vrij is disappointed that Ronald Koeman left for Barcelona. “It’s a pity for the whole team. We have taken a certain path and there have been a lot of good developments”
“But we all grant him that he can now coach his dream club. Life goes on for us and we would like to continue on the path we have taken.”