Netherlands legend Willem van Hanegem has likened Manchester United star Memphis Depay to a Bond villain in a stinging critique of the national side…
The Dutch have endured a miserable qualifying campaign for Euro 2016 so far, currently sitting outside the top three positions in Group A with their fate now out of their hands.
The 3-0 defeat to third-placed Turkey leaves them on 10 points with two games remaining, but even if they were to win both – against Kazakhstan and second-placed Czech Republic – they will be relying on results elsewhere to hand them even a play-off place.
Van Hanegem, a member of the Dutch squad who finished as runners-up in the 1974 World Cup, has criticised the current crop of players, and has singled out United’s Depay in particular.
‘There are a few players at Oranje that only think about themselves,’ he wrote in Dutch paper Algemeen Dagblad. ‘Take Memphis for instance. He’s just like Goldfinger with his golden shoes. But what is the use of that for Netherlands? He just lays on the ground, it makes you feel despondent.’
The 71-year-old also took exception to Depay’s dress sense when he arrived for national team duty.
‘I don’t care that he comes to Oranje with a hat and a scarf,’ wrote Van Hanegem. ‘What he does outside of the pitch is his own business. But with a couple of suspenders and a beard, he could easily join the Amish people in America and sit on a wagon.’
Van Hanegem then questioned the fitness of Danny Blind’s squad in the midst of their struggles.
‘All these players look like they are contesting a bodybuilders match,’ he added.
‘Back in the day you had players who were ripped, now they only look pumped up. That’s a big difference.’