During a wonderful and carefree childhood, Damaris Egurrola played football with her nephews and nieces in the squares of Groningen during the summer holidays, when she came from Spain to visit her family. “In small fields, near their homes. In the summer I was always here for at least three weeks, then Christmas and all that.
Damaris Berta Egurrola Wienke is her full name, a seemingly perfect fusion of names from Spain and the Netherlands, although her mother’s name Wienke originated in Germany. In Groningen, she hopes to make her debut against Cyprus on Friday for her chosen team, the Netherlands, in next year’s World Cup qualifying series in Australia and New Zealand.
Born in the United States, raised in Spain, living in France, with her heart in the Netherlands, the country of her mother. She is a defensive and controlling midfielder with an overview and good passing, with the great advantage that she is left-footed, a specialty that permanent staff like Sherida Spitse and Jackie Groenen lack. She hopes for her debut. “I ordered a lot of tickets for my family and friends. My parents, my sister and my brother are from Spain. A lot of my mum’s friends will be there. It’s really cool.’
She started playing football in Spain, where her parents still live in Bilbao, and to which she emigrated from the United States when she was 6 years old. The love for the game started in Groningen. Of course, it’s not just a sentiment for a country, it’s also a calculation of probability. Opportunity arouses affection. While Spain ignored her, Dutch national team coach Mark Parsons visited her in America to persuade her. And Daniëlle van de Donk, co-player at Olympique Lyon, kept “harassing” her head. “She never stopped. She’s happy for me now.
Van de Donk is now injured, so the guide is absent from the selection. The team also trains against South Africa on Tuesday, although the qualifier against Belarus is officially on the schedule. The KNVB refuses to play against Putin’s friendly country Russia and is in consultation with UEFA on the possible consequences of this decision. Egurrola on his first days training in Zeist: “It was like a first day at school where you don’t know anyone, but it was easy and nice for me.
During a press conference, the sports channel ESPN wants to know if she already speaks Dutch. So small. She is learning the language. The NOS asks if she wants to come on camera. †Hello, I am Damaris Egurrola. I play for Lyon, and now for the Dutch team† The Telegraph is curious if she has heard of the stroopwafel. She smiles. Yes, she knows the ‘croquette sandwich’. From Volkskrant asks him about the Afsluitdijk. No, never heard of it. ‘I know a lot of words and the culture. I am now learning Dutch and French at the same time, which is just as difficult. In the future, she will speak Dutch. She understands everything, especially football terms.
spanish youth teams
She feels more European than American. In Spain, she once played for national youth teams and in a friendly match for the national team, but at some point she was no longer eligible for selection and could still change. She was in the Netherlands at the 2017 European Championship and attended almost every game. ‘I was impressed. The team played very good football and the atmosphere with the public was special. They won the tournament in a good way.
She also saw the Orange lose, the men then, in 2010, during the final of the World Cup in South Africa. “I remember I was a Netherlands fan. When Iniesta scored, I ran to my room crying. My dad’s family wanted Spain to win, but we threw a party for them. Netherlands. I was a fan of Dutch players back then, and when the Netherlands played football, we were dressed in orange. And my nieces and nephews taught me how to play football better.
His father is also proud now, despite being Spanish back then. “He knew I needed tournaments with a national team to become a bigger player. He helped me, including with all that paperwork for Fifa. It’s important that a team really wants you. I don’t I had no luck in Spain for three years. Here I spoke with Mark Parsons and Danielle, and they all wanted me to join the team. Now for this debut.
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