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Football reported a way out from infernal childhood: Memphis Depay

Football reported a way out from infernal childhood: Memphis Depay

As a member of the English daily Guardian initiative, which brings together European newspapers, you can present the players of the national teams participating in the European Championship with articles written by national experts in the national sport. In the first part of the series, Bart Fleetstra, a journalist for Volkskrant, introduces us to the distinguished offensive line of the Dutch national team, Memphis Depay.

Memphis Depay (Photo: AFP)

when Memphis Debyte In 2015, he was named the Dutch front-line talent (Eredivisie), the so-called received Cruyff Stadium as a gift – meaning he could designate any location where the Cruyff Foundation would build a stylish football facility out of artificial turf.

Depay He filmed so that Mordrecht would get on the new track – the small village in which he grew up. At the handover ceremony, appearing in a warm beige jacket and matching baseball cap, the Dutch classic summed up his career so far: “I was always on the field, I played football all the time, you see the result.”

The result is that Depay has become a veritable one-man army that, had he not been affected by the financial crisis, would have played there alongside Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann. He is the undisputed leader of his current club, Olympique Lyonnais.

The 27-year-old Dutchman is one of the most extravagant footballers in the world. It’s hard to imagine how she became, given the environment she came from – from a small town with a population of nearly nine thousand working in agriculture. In addition to Depay’s shirt, only Lin Van Strelens’ dress hangs on the wall in the bistro of the local football club – the latter mostly only warms up the Excelsior’s small bench in the second line (Earst Davisy).

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When one mentions the name Memphis here, not everyone responds positively. “You must give the club a hundred balls.” A full-bodied local man was unhappy with me.

There was already some grumbling among the other residents as well. The striker, for example, arrived late to deliver his artificial turf.

“Acting normally is just crazy enough” – He carries a Dutch proverb, and of course there are not many in the small town who have Debye close to their hearts. Local children, for example, still commemorate the day the player played football with them when handing over the artificial turf, as his narrow patriarch, the Molordky minority in Mordrecht, always defends him.

There were plenty of times for that. Depay has been the most talked about Dutch footballer in years. If this isn’t your latest outfit or record-breaking rehab after a serious knee injury, this is an Instagram post where you’re walking around with a tiger (offspring of a male lion and female tiger hybrid) or just chilling. A yacht with a glass of whiskey in hand, wearing a 100 thousand euro necklace. His interviews are full of biblical quotes, he invented a cheerful new target, appeared at protests in Amsterdam against racism, tattooed a huge lion’s head on his back, and published his autobiography.

Depay in 2012, in PSV colors (Image: AFP)

Of course, not only his private life, but also his footballing skills often provide a talking point.

From the very beginning of his career, he excelled with his adorable ground-playing chick and his excellent shooting techniques. At the beginning of his brilliant career a Philip Coco Then he came to him as a left winger for PSV Eindhoven Louis van Gal He was invited to the Dutch framework for the 2014 World Cup. He also scored against Australia and Chile in the tournament, but was often a substitute for a team that, despite winning the bronze medal in Brazil beyond expectations, was unable to qualify for the next two major tournaments. The Golden Generation (Van Persie, Robin, Van der Vaart, Schneider) said goodbye to his oranges at this time and it took a while for Debye, Virgil van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong And the Matisse de Ligt They were able to make up for their deficiency.

Throughout Depay’s career, he went through a period that did not bring him much happiness, which he spent at Manchester United. Here in 2017, he picked his next stop, Leon, with the help of a data analytics firm. Change came within his reach, as well as the fact that a year later, Ronald Koeman became the federal captain of the Dutch national team. The new coach intended that Depay would play the role of a striker who could stand free, and follow his feelings and instincts on the field without defensive tasks. His role produced astonishing numbers, as he scored 11 goals and 12 assists in 19 matches.

Memphis Depay is preparing for his first European Championship (Photo: AFP)

The Dutch classic is a real native who speaks a mixture of English and Dutch slang (or just rap) – that sounds almost unbelievable, because in the quiet little town he grew up in, no one adds like that.

His childhood was not carefree. His Ghanaian father left his family suddenly when little Memphis was three years old. Her mother later remarried, and she married her neighbor to raise ten children in her home.

Hell was – wrote about this player released in 2019, Lion’s heart c. in his autobiography. Those with whom he was sharing a room were constantly abused – mostly with fists, but were also threatened with knife. Depay also reported a case in which one of his brothers tried to tear off one of his ears with pliers. “I had to constantly be on hand. They also harassed monkeys and fur heads.” Show.

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He went through this stage of life with great difficulty. He hid under the table at school and didn’t want to get out of there. He has lost respect for others and himself. He was in constant conflict with someone and did not trust anyone. Later in his book he wrote that this was the time when he learned to survive.

Depay only felt free when he was playing football.

“I got rid of all my anger on the pitch. I wanted to be the best, I wanted to bite into the grass.”

The player later moved to live with his grandparents, Jans and Kis, who also lived in Mordrecht. Here Depay regained some of his lifelong enthusiasm. He often went fishing with his grandfather, which he really enjoyed, and liked to play cards with his grandmother. He visits her several times to this day.

Translated by Janus Fig

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