Netherlands and Manchester City defender, Nathan Ake has disclosed why he is hopeful the Netherlands will win the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. As per Ake, the Netherlands’ goal at Qatar 2022 is to lift the trophy.
Ake is ready for a major role at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ after starting five of the Netherlands’ previous eight matches. He joined Virgil van Dijk and youthful Ajax star Jurrien Lumber in a considerable three-man backline to close out Poland and Belgium in the Netherlands’ September fixtures.
Coach Van Gaal, who is in his third spell in charge and also counts Matthijs de Ligt, Sven Botman and Stefan de Vrij among a fortunate assortment of central backs, has overseen an undefeated 15-match run since his appointment following the Oranje’s last-16 exit at the UEFA EURO last year.
Ake recognizes the subsequent raised expectations – and racket for Dutch accomplishment back at home following inability to fit the bill for Russia 2018 – yet demands the Netherlands can’t look past an opener against Senegal.
The 27-year-old, twice a Premier League champion with City, represented the Netherlands at every age group from U-15s upwards, and is a double UEFA European U-17 Championship winner.
Being at the World Cup denotes the end of a long and winding journey. Ake will then take time in Qatar to ponder every one of the people who aided keep him moving in the correct bearing, including mum Ineke, brother Cedric and father Moise, who passed away minutes after Ake scored his first UEFA Champions League goal last year.
Ake made his senior international debut in 2017 and has accumulated 29 caps.
The Netherlands are among the favourite teams going into Qatar 2022 following an unbeaten run extending back to June 2021 and a couple of exceptionally noteworthy wins more than one of the competition top choices, Belgium, this year.
Ake said his expectations are high, because, if you contend in a competition, you need to win it.
“That is the main objective. We won’t go there to just play. We want to compete and win the tournament. If we manage to win the first game, we can look forward, assess how we played and what we can improve, then grow into the tournament. The coach is very clear on what he wants to do and the way he wants to play. He is very detail-orientated. We changed our formation to a back five, so that influences how we attack and defend. Every player knows his role exactly and that brought us a lot of clarity and comfort in the team. From there we could build. We have a very good young squad, everyone has played together for a while and knows each other well, and that really helps too”, Ake said.
In the past few games, Ake has played as a left centre-back in a three. And he has accepted that there is a lot of competition in the Netherlands defence. Timber, De Ligt, De Vrij, Van Dijk, and Botman from Newcastle are all available, thus he has prove himself. According to him, there are lot of talent and top players, and so it is even more of a good thing if he manages to start in the World Cup.
“From playing for my districts at U-13, then through every Holland age-group from U-15, the ultimate goal was to put on the shirt of the national team. To do that now at the World Cup would be amazing. It has been a long road, never straightforward, with a lot of ups and downs”.
So many people have helped me: my parents, my brother and my wife They have been through it the whole way. I am just hoping to be able to enjoy many good moments with my mum and brother at the World Cup. My wife is giving birth this weekend, so she can’t be there. I will go away almost immediately [after the birth] and she has to stay here. Normally she travels everywhere to watch me. That will be strange and difficult but it is something we have to deal with.
Nathan Ake won progressive UEFA European U-17 Titles. For the second competition triumph in 2012, he was the skipper and scored in the last penalty shootout against Germany. Meanwhile, the Netherlands will begin their World Cup campaign against African champions Senegal, who have several top-class players.