Koeman Continues to Blame Barcelona for De Jong's Absence

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman blames both Frenkie de Jong and Barcelona for the player's ongoing ankle injury, ruling him out of Euro 2024. Koeman expresses frustration over the situation and emphas..

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman has stated that both Frenkie de Jong and his club, Barcelona, are responsible for the ongoing ankle injury that has sidelined the playmaker from Euro 2024.

At the team's base in Germany, four days before their tournament opener against Poland in Hamburg, Koeman aimed to put an end to ongoing questions about the midfielder's absence.

"There is little point in answering questions about topics that are no longer relevant," he told reporters in Wolfsburg on Wednesday.

Regarding De Jong's exclusion after doctors said he was unlikely to be fit enough to play, Koeman said, "We haven't talked about that since we got here."

The news came shortly after the Netherlands completed their tournament preparations with a 4-0 friendly win over Iceland in Rotterdam, with Koeman blaming Barcelona for insisting on playing De Jong despite his ankle problems throughout the season.

"Of course, it also depends on the player himself. I spoke to Frenkie about this, but that stays between me and the player," Koeman said.

"I have more inside information, but the matter is over now."

Midfielder Teun Koopmeiners was also ruled out of the squad due to a thigh injury.

Koeman decided to call up only one replacement for the duo, Borussia Dortmund defender Ian Maatsen, saying he did not want to disrupt the squad's working mechanism.

"Ian Maatsen was already in the initial squad; he is a versatile player and has only been out for a week. All the other options have been out for three weeks, I don't know where they all are," Koeman said.

"With the remaining (25) players in the squad, we can move in any direction. We play with three midfielders, and we have five. You can always move any player one position back or move a player from the back one position forward.

"This will never be an excuse in the tournament, whatever happens, we will not call up player number 26.

"I have decided on the line-up that will start on Sunday in Hamburg against Poland, but we will not finish the European Championship with the players who will start on Sunday, there is a lot of competition within this group."

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