Lieke Martens started preparing for the Olympic Games on Monday with the Orange Women, who will play exhibition games against Belgium and Germany for the next week and a half. The FC Barcelona attacker wants to show in the top posters that the Netherlands is on the right track, although in the back of her mind the question is whether the event in Tokyo will take place at all.
“We only now have full focus on the Games”, says 28-year-old Martens, who gathered with the Orange selection in Zeist on Monday. “In previous international periods it was also about the European Championship qualifying. Not now. There are now two games waiting in which we have to show it. I wonder where we stand.”
After a European Championship qualification with only duels with small countries and simple victories, the Netherlands will play against the number seventeen of the FIFA ranking (Belgium) on Thursday in Brussels and next Wednesday in Venlo against the global number two (Germany).
“I’m really looking forward to these two games”, continues Martens. “Now we are going to see what players can bring individually and what we can do as a team. Everything has to be right and if it doesn’t go well, you will learn from it. We need that to Tokyo.”
‘I want to win from the US this summer’
At the end of November, the Orange already practiced against a top country. In Breda, world champion United States was 2-0 too strong and the European champion had almost nothing to say.
“I barely made it to their half that match,” Martens remembers. “We did not reach the level then to beat the number one in the world. That’s okay, but I want to do that next summer in Tokyo. Fortunately we still have a few months to grow, starting with this week. . “
Martens is of course looking forward to the Games. After the European Championship gold of 2017 and the World Cup silver of 2019, she also wants to make history in Tokyo with the Orange women, who have qualified for the Olympic football tournament for the first time.
“But because of that, the news about whether the Games will go ahead also concerns me. I understand that with everything that is happening in the world with corona, health is the most important thing now. But it would be a huge downer if the Games were canceled. And not just for me, but for all those athletes who are training hard. I really hope it continues. “
The practice match between Belgium and the Netherlands starts on Thursday at 8 p.m. in the King Baudouin Stadium. In the Netherlands-Germany, the kick-off in De Koel is next Tuesday at 6.30 pm.
Source: NU by www.nu.nl.
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