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De Boer hopes Depay 'can finally focus on Euro 2020' after Barcelona move

Published on: 20 June 2021

Frank De Boer hopes a weight has been lifted off Memphis Depay’s shoulders now he has sealed his transfer to Barcelona.

Depay, 27, is one of the senior figures in De Boer’s Netherlands squad but has received criticism in his homeland for his contribution to their tournament so far.

Despite scoring and helping set up Holland’s second goal against Austria, Depay’s displays have been in the spotlight.

His future was uncertain after his Lyon contract expired this month but his Nou Camp switch was confirmed on Saturday.

De Boer said: ‘It is a relief for him, now he can finally focus on the Euros. It has played a role in his head but now it’s behind us.

‘Maybe this is just the extra push to excel. We need an excelling Memphis to make it far. He doesn’t get upset and that’s why he’s such a special player for us.’

Depay’s goal in the 2-0 win against Austria on Thursday, when Holland secured their place in the knockout rounds before Monday's final group game against North Macedonia, failed to silence his critics.

De Boer said: ‘Memphis is the first to be self-critical. He knows if he played well or not and where there may be room for improvement. Let’s hope for all of Holland that he will hit the level we have in mind.’

Goran Pandev will retire from international football after facing Holland on Monday, the North Macedonia stalwart has announced.

Pandev, 37, will win his 122nd cap, having scored 38 goals including his nation’s first ever at a major tournament — against Austria eight days ago.


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