Stefanie van der Gragt has after a disappointing season full of injuries a lot of extra meaning in the world CHAMPIONSHIPS with the Oranjevrouwen. The defender of FC Barcelona’s hopes in the final tournament in France will finally be able to show.
“It might take a while, but luckily I’m there again,” said the 26-year-old Van der Gragt, who, despite her limited playing time this season just before the world cup was selected by national coach Sarina Wiegman.
“I have long gekwakkeld. First time with a tendon injury and then I tore a muscle in my thigh. Be fit, not fit, well, not; so it went on all the time. Mentally, that was heavy.”
The long and kopsterke defender struggled in the run-up to the Netherlands successful european CHAMPIONSHIPS two years ago with the aftermath of a knee injury. They began the tournament in their own country as a reserve, but played in the basis.
“That picked up as well. You can see more of players after a season full of injuries than at a final tournament can peaks. Yes, as Marco van Basten at the european CHAMPIONSHIP of 1988. I hope it is for me also the case.”
Stefanie van der Gragt fights on behalf of FC Barcelona in the Champions League final with Ada Hegerberg on Olympique Lyon. ()
“Hopefully, we are going to Oranjegekte to France’
Van der Gragt spent during her first season at Barcelona to have more time with the physiotherapist than on the field with her teammates, among whom Lieke Martens. The past few weeks made them some minutes, more if invalster in the lost Champions League final against Olympique Lyon (4-1).
“I ended up this season in eight games played,” said North-Holland. “Not what I had hoped for and expected, but for me it’s extra nice that we now have a world cup.”
As reigning European champion is Orange outsider for the world title, says Van der Gragt. “At the previous world cup, four years ago in Canada, was, for us, an achievement that we are the group doorkwamen. At the european CHAMPIONSHIPS in our own country, we then show that we are a very good team.”
“The audience was as real as twelfth man. The world cup is now too close to home. Hopefully that Orange-madness to France. As we level, I think that we are very, very far.”
Orange begins world cup against New Zealand
For Orange start the world cup on 11 June in Le Havre with a duel with New Zealand. Four days later Cameroon is the opponent in Valenciennes, the group stage is on June 20 ended with the match against Canada in Reims.
The numbers one and two and the four best numbers three of the six groups of four teams reach the knock-out stages. In the run-up to the world cup exerts the Netherlands on Saturday in the Philips Stadium against Australia.
Check out the selections for the world cup women 2019