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Daniëlle van de Donk after World Cup final loss

So near and yet so far, the Dutch might not have had their best tournament but they still managed to shock a fair few and reach the final two. Following their loss in Lyon, WomensFootball.co.uk spoke to Arsenal’s Dutch midfielder, Daniëlle van de Donk.

WF: “Before the match, not many people gave the Netherlands too much hope but you managed to hold the USA off for over an hour – when in every game before this one they’d scored in the first 12 minutes – do you think you proved that you were the second best team at the World Cup this summer?”
DvdD: “We definitely are and I do think they got… not lucky but with the VAR [awarded penalty] but it’s a bit sh*t for us; that’s not how you want them to break the game. But, it is how it is, we’ve seen in this tournament a lot of penalties and they [the USA] are good at taking them.

WF: “If we look back to the start of 2017, when no one thought the team would even manage much at the Euros… two and a half years later, you’re European champions and have just played in a World Cup final; a little word on the growth of women’s football in the Netherlands?”
DvdD: “The growth is ridiculous, if I look at women’s football and the hype that’s going around in women’s football it’s amazing and that’s the thing I’m most proud of; that we got so much respect from the Netherlands. We still have to do the job, we have to get to finals and get medals and I’m proud of the team for what we’ve achieved.

WF: “It’s hard to ignore the size of the crowds the team gets but you’re also breaking record after record in terms of television viewing figures too, is that something you’re aware of during the tournament?”
DvdD: “Not really, especially not me, I close myself off on social media. Maybe it’s different for other people but I choose not to know… but if I hear my parents, they say the whole of the Netherlands is proud.

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