Final of the Conference League. “Success That… Can Hurt”

Maciej Słomiński, Interia: The Conference League is only the third cup in the UEFA hierarchy, but the final of the European competition is always impressive. Is this the best Feyenoord season in years?

Jan de Zeeuw junior: – In my opinion – certainly yes, certainly from the season that was crowned with the championship title in 2017. After that, no success in European competitions followed, Feyenoord in the group with Man City, Napoli and Shakhtar, Donetsk won only once in the Champions League and did not even qualify for the Europa League. Now there is the final of the European Cup and a nice third place in the Eredivisie.

You mentioned the national title of 2017 – this is the only victory for the team from Rotterdam in the 21st century competition. In the past, the rivalry between the Dutch “big three” was more even. Nice third place in the season that ended, but a double-digit loss of points for PSV and Ajax. What is Feyenoord missing to jump to their level?

– Money does not play and does not bring happiness, but it helps to achieve it. The difference is mainly in the budgets. In the current season Ajax has 160 million euros, PSV 85 and Feyenoord 65† Ajax has earned a lot in recent years by playing in European cups, PSV has a number of powerful local investors. That is what Feyenoord lacks. Investments are necessary to reach and stay at the top. This will not only happen with young people or with “cheap” transfers.

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Who can go from the current Feyenoord selection to the Eredivisie?

– I think Feyenoord’s current success may hurt him. In my opinion, the departure of the Colombian left winger is doomed – Luis SinisterraHe is only 23 years old and has had a phenomenal season – scoring 12 goals in the Eredivisie and 11 in the Conference League. defender Marco Senesic he can easily play in one of the top five European leagues. He’s so strong that he’s just been called up for…two performances, and not just one. Italy and Argentina want him, apparently he has to choose the latter. Young talents may be leaving: the stopwatch Lutsharel Geertruid and left back Tyrell Malacia, they turned 20 relatively recently and they already have a lot of experience and will probably go to the World Cup with “Orange”. The current success could therefore hurt Feyenoord a little personally. They will earn, but a few key players will probably leave and have to build from scratch.

Does this mean that the club’s transfer policy is based on the academy?

– This policy needed change. In the previous decade, between 2010 and 2020, Feyenoord earned ‘only’ 81 million euros in transfers. That is five times less than Ajax and only fifth in the Eredivisie! In the period from 2010 to 2015, many young talents left the academy for the top clubs in England. The club did not have the resources to retain these players, such a policy did not work, the results showed. In 2019, a new facility for the use of the academy has been built, a dozen new employees have been recruited, the scouts network has expanded and is starting to bear fruit. I am convinced that the club will earn in the summer period and that the following young people are ready to play.

I ask about eternal rivals, about Ajax Amsterdam and what are the ambitions of the club in general? How is Feyenoord’s financial situation? Perhaps instead of looking at the top, you should look back, where are your creditors lurking?

– There are no debts, although the situation is far from perfect. Again, I have to come back to the subject of transfers, which are the main source of income. Financial success for the Dutch club is only possible thanks to the regular sales of young footballers. Feyenoord has sold only four players more than 10 million euros in the past 10 years. This is a drama for such a club† There were no successes in Europe either. Feyenoord decided to invest in the academy’s facilities and staff. We are waiting for the results.

How is the League of Conferences handled in the Netherlands? At first it felt like a third category match, but the final with Roma and Feyenoord is impressive.

– Initially this cup was called the “Mickey Mouse Cup” for the European federations of category B. This opinion has of course changed as Feyenoord went through the rounds. The final naturally arouses a lot of interest. Although the selector of “Orange” Louis van Gaal finds these games absurd.

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Well, Feyenoord and Roma are big European brands, but the Dutch club’s participation in the Champions League final is science fiction these days, even though Ajax was close a few years ago.

– We are aware that the Eredivisie has become a competition that provides players and coaches with stronger competitions. The Ajax Semi-Final in 2019 is a unique success that could take place every five or seven years.

As for the club from Amsterdam – is the Ajax coach, Erik this Hag can Man Utd handle?

– In my opinion he will make it because he has a good staff. He personally has a great assistant Mitchell van der Gaag and an experienced Englishman Steve McLarenwho also helped with the work Sir Alex Ferguson† Nobody in the Netherlands doubts the performance and techniques of this The Hague, the downside was the poor communication with the media. Man Utd still haven’t replaced Ferguson for good. Perhaps the problem lies elsewhere than with the coaching cast?

How many Feyenoord fans are going to Tirana for the Conference League final?

Feyenoord unfortunately only received three thousand tickets for the match. The club estimates that another 4,000 will travel to the Albanian capital without tickets. In stadium De Kuip, 48,000 viewers will watch the match on a big screen. A special fan zone is being created in the center of Rotterdam for almost ten thousand fans, tickets have been missing for a long time.

How do you estimate the chances in the final? AS Roma z Jose Mourinho on the bench he plays in a stronger league and should be seen as the favourite.

– I estimate the odds perfectly even, 50/50. The Feyenoord team has been at the training camp in Portugal for a number of days, the conditions are perfect. The team from Rotterdam may be in the final without experience, with only three players over 30 years old. None of the players have ever played in the final of the European Cup, it could be crucial in this match. Mourinho is the final specialist, we remember the 2017 Europa League final where his Man Utd defeated Ajax. I’m afraid Tammy Abraham with AS Roma, a very good player, a great header and very strong. He can cause big problems at Feyenoord. In the league, Roma was very dangerous from the set pieces and Feyenoord’s first goalkeeper, Justin Bijlow, returns to the selection after a few weeks of injury.

What’s up with our old friend? Leo Beenhakker

– All right, he plans to go to the League of Nations match between the Netherlands and Poland, which will be held in “his” stadium in Rotterdam. Leo Feyenoord naturally applauds on Wednesday evening.

Is anyone in the Netherlands watching the European Under-17 Championship? The Netherlands is strong in this age category, although she didn’t show it in the match with Poland

– The current U-17 team is not as strong as that of 2018 and 2019, when it proved to be the best in the continent twice. The Dutch media judged “Oranje”‘s performance against Poland as weak. Interest only grew after the 3-1 victory over France. The orange colors are missing a few key players in this tournament. As far as I’m concerned, the semi-finals for Orange will be a success.

Maciej Slomiński interviewed

Expected lineups.

Feyenoord: Bijlow Geertruida, Trauner, Senesi, Malacia – Toornstra, Aursnes, Til – Nelson, Dessers, Sinisterra.

Rome: Patricio – Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez – Karsdorp, Cristante, Oliveira, Zalewski – Pellegrini – Zaniolo, Abraham.

Final Conference League, match Feyenoord Rotterdam – AS Roma at 9 p.m. in Tirana. Report on sport.interia.pl.

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