Georginio Wijnaldum knows the draw could have been harder for the Netherlands but he is preparing for a tough game against the Czech Republic on Sunday.

Netherlands could have faced Portugal, France or Germany in the last 16 but results on Wednesday meant that the Czech Republic are Oranje’s opponents in the last 16 of the Euros. The match takes place in Budapest on Sunday.

Wijnaldum was present at the press conference on Thursday and said, “Without disparaging them, because it’s a good team: it’s not bad. If you look at the schedule, the favourites are on the other side. We could have met a top opponent. At the same time, it doesn’t matter. The Czech Republic simply has a good team and we approach them as a top match.”

Wijnaldum confirmed that the Oranje squad did watch the developments on Wednesday, “We have been watching the matches and then you see what can happen. Then Hungary was through and Portugal out, then Germany and finally the Hungarians flew out. That tension is what makes football so beautiful.”

Luuk de Jong is out of the squad after a knee injury in midweek, and Wijnaldum says the striker will be missed, “Although his role was not that big this European Championship, Luuk is one of the leaders in the team. He gave everything during training sessions, especially when we played against substitutions with the starting eleven. When he saw or found something, he gave his opinion which was listened to. He’s a great player to have on your team, one who has proven his worth in the past. We’re going to miss him.”




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