“We can compete with everyone” - Virgil van Dijk evaluates Netherlands' Euro 2024 chances

Germany v Netherlands - International Friendly
Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk

Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk is quietly optimistic of his side's chances at UEFA Euro 2024. The quadrennial event starts in Germany next month, with the Oranje drawn with Poland, France and Austria.

Van Dijk is coming off a solid club season with Liverpool, who won the EFL Cup, reached the quarterfinals of the FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League, and finished third in the Premier League.

Attention now turns to the upcoming Euros, with Netherlands set to play two friendlies - Canada (June 6) and Iceland (June 10) - before their campaign opener with Poland on June 16.

Ahead of their campaign for a first European title in nearly four decades, Oranje captain Van Dijk sounded realistic about his side's chances as he tempered expectations (as per sbs6 via AFC AJAX):

"Well, you have to be realistic. I will do my best, and I am excited, everything is possible."
"We will do everything in our power to get through the group stages, because this will be very difficult. Austria is a tough team, France is always difficult, but we can compete with everyone," he added.

Netherlands won their only European Championship in 1988, beating Soviet Union 2-0. Since then, their only final appearance at a major tournament was at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where they lost to Spain 1-0 after extra time.

How Virgil van Dijk's Netherlands fared in their previous Euro campaign

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk's Netherlands featured at the previous European Championship - Euro 2020 - three years ago, with the event played a year later due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Oranje topped a group containing Austria, Ukraine and North Macedonia. The 1988 champions beat Ukraine 3-1 in their campaign opener before beating Austria 2-0 and North Macedonia 3-0 - all in Amsterdam - to reach the knockouts.

However, they lost 2-0 to the Czech Republic in Budapest in the Round of 16 to bow out of the competition. A Matthijs de Ligt red card in the 52nd minute was followed by goals from Tomas Holes and Patrik Schick as the 10-man Oranje were eliminated.

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