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Dirk Marcellis enjoys World Cup thoroughly (

20 sep 2005 - Source:

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Dirk Marcellis, the captain of the Dutch team U17, is a key player in the team coached by Ruud Kaiser. The PSV youngster is having a wonderful time at the World Cup in Peru and enjoys the tournament thoroughly. We interviewed the PSV player in South America. A strong squadThe players of the Dutch team that take part in the World Cup U17 in Peru have gained a lot of experience: a stadium filled to capacity, a kind reception and of course a 5-3 win last Saturday in the opening game over Qatar. Marcellis, a first year A-junior player, but also a player of the Young PSV squad, looks back at the first game of the tournament: "It was a daft game. But we have claimed a win and that’s what it’s all about. We should concede less in defence, though."Marcellis reviews the game in the lounge of the players' hotel and he expresses himself very well indeed. That’s the way he likes it. As captain of the team he feels committed to be a leader, both on and off the pitch. He does a pep talk before the game is kicked off, but he also makes things cosy in the squad. "Each of us must contribute. Together we must be one squad. If each of us feels good, we can put on a good display. That's what makes this squad so strong. Most of the lads have been in this squad for nearly two years. Moreover we played a lot games before we qualified for this tournament. First we played qualifiers for two tournaments. And eventually we played the Euro in Italy, but were beaten by Turkey in the final. As a team we have benefited from all those experiences."Record number of capsGradually it has dawned upon Marcellis that not only the 'Dutch team of the future' is making history, but he himself as well. Never before did the team manage to qualify for a World Cup. Marcellis has been capped 21 times and he has now played more international games than Rafael van der Vaart. "Of course that’s fine, but I think it’s far more important to achieve well. We know we can come a long way and we all most anxious to win. You certainly don’t lack motivation in such wonderful circumstances."Local interest in this tournament is indeed massive, in particular in the North Peruvian town of Piuara, where the Dutch team play their first two games. People are queuing up for hours to get a ticket, as everybody wants to see a World Cup game in their own town. A 20, 000 crowd."It's incredible. When the bus drives through town, the people get mad. They are all football-mad. They are so nice and they are so grateful when you say hello or sign your autograph. When we entered the pitch on Saturday, there was a 20, 000 crowd. It gave me the creeps. I usually play my youth games for a mere handful of people and then you."