Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk is happy that Ronald Koeman got his dream job coaching Barcelona and feels the Oranje players must now move on.

Ahead of the Nations League games against Poland and Italy, the Netherlands squad met up in Zeist on Monday with Van Dijk and interim boss Dwight Lodeweges giving a press conference.

Asked about Koeman’s decision to leave for Barcelona, Van Dijk said, “We are all disappointed to see such a great national coach leave, but we give him this wholeheartedly. You can ask each player in the squad piece by piece, everyone will have that feeling. This was his big dream. This time in which we live, the corona time with all the uncertainty that comes with it, the European Championship that will not take place one hundred percent with certainty … If such an opportunity comes along, I can understand it.”

Koeman called Van Dijk to tell him about his decision, “I didn’t try to persuade him to stay then. It was of course also coming for a while. Nobody expected it to have happened so quickly, but we are very happy for him. Now we have to move on.”

Lodeweges also doesn’t blame Koeman for his departure, “On the contrary. You know how it works in the football world. He has turned down Barcelona twice, if he then gets a third chance, then you just give him that. For us it is a shame, we were of course not happy that he left, but we certainly give it to Ronald.”

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