Lieke Martens notes that opponents take into account the World Cup much more than in previous tournaments. Partly as a result of that, the FC Barcelona striker has not yet shown his best game in France, and she wants to change that against Japan.
"On Thursday against Canada, I got blocked with all the balls I got, it was very clear that they were looking for me more," says Martens, who also received less than he wanted. "And if I was at the ball, it was not my nose for the goal. Going one against one and doing an action is very difficult, but that's my quality."
The Football Player of the Year 2017 was transferred to Canada twenty minutes ahead of time and this World Cup still does not have a goal or help behind his name. The contrast is great with the European Championship two years ago when the Dutch team won the title with Martens as the best player.
"Opponents now adjust to me, which means I have to take on a different role.Is this frustrating? Not so much because I know that teammates are released when there are three players around me.But of course I also have to take care of it that I get to the ball at the right moment and I'm decisive. "
Joy with Lieke Martens, Anouk Dekker and Shanice van de Sande after the 1-0 win against Canada. (Photo: Pro Shots)
"We have more players that can be decisive"
National coach Sarina Wiegman also sees supporters focus more on the World Cup in Martens, 26. "As the current European champion, we are taken into account and we have been extensively analyzed. As a result, Martens is often blocked," said Wiegman, who believes that this is not an insurmountable problem for Orange.
"Fortunately we have more players that can be decisive," he said. "This has been a good development in our team in recent years, we do not depend on one or two players anymore.
On Tuesday, the orange team continues the World Cup with the eighth final against Japan, which is played in Rennes. Four years ago, the Japanese were also opponents in the eighth final of the Canada Cup and then the Netherlands lost 2-1.