Dutch coach Ronald Koeman: Verstappen jogs my memory of Messi

Football legend and present Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman has made a curious and somewhat profound comparability between an important Dutch sportsman of the second, Max Verstappen, and the present Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi.

Messi has been dominant in soccer for a few years now, while Max Verstappen has now gained three Formulation 1 world titles in a row and would be the overwhelming favorite for the 2024 season.

“I see similarities with Lionel Messi. The desire to win, in any respect prices. Having the ability to be powerful, to be up to the mark when one thing will not be mounted. You possibly can see it in Max, in his manner, in his look, within the venom in his eyes. He decides. For instance, if he alters tyres, he would not ask, he studies it. He takes the duty. Messi, who I labored with at Barcelona for a yr and a half, has that too. And, one other similarity, they’re pure fanatics,” he says in a prolonged chat with the Dutch web site Formula1.NL.

“There are lots of athletes who will be excellent, however the very best sports activities are about being good within the moments that matter. To make a comparability with soccer: everybody typically scores a objective or a penalty, however there are occasions if you actually should do it. After which lots of them disappear. Max is at all times there for the supreme second and that may be a particular high quality. He’s centered and assured, even when at Zandvoort, 300,000 Dutch folks come to the observe for him. He provides his all when it is wanted and people are the very best, the Messis, the Ronaldos and the Verstappens of this world,” he provides.

Curiously, they know little about one another: “I met him as soon as, however I do not know him effectively and I do not belong to the group of people that really feel so necessary that they should be within the limelight on the races and wish to be near Max and have their photograph taken. No, I am not somebody who goes out within the limelight on these sorts of events or who has to have an image taken with Max after which brag about it on social media,” says Koeman.

Koeman says Verstappen ignited F1 within the Netherlands

He remembers effectively that unforgettable 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when he was topped champion in that unbelievable end towards Hamilton. “I used to be there, it gave me goosebumps.

“However it will be attention-grabbing for me to alternate ideas with Max about what he is achieved to this point, how he is doing it and in addition how he is so centered. The truth that he is so calm underneath that immense strain is one thing I believe is extremely spectacular,” he says.

Koeman acknowledges Verstappen‘s position in a small European nation and within the lives of many Dutch folks.

“I do not keep in mind watching Formulation 1 till lately. It was a small sport within the Netherlands that was hardly ever seen on TV. In actual fact, my curiosity was sparked by Max and, particularly, his rivalry with Lewis Hamilton. It introduced the game to life within the Netherlands. Due to Max‘s success, I now have far more curiosity within the sport and typically I watch soccer as a result of it is my obligation and on the iPad I watch Max‘s complete race in the event that they coincide,” he admits.

Max, who’s left-footed like Messi and a PSV Eindhoven fan like Koeman, has typically talked concerning the Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo duel he skilled as a baby, additionally as a Barcelona fan.

“It is not possible for me to decide on as a result of I believe Messi is extra gifted than Cristiano, however Cristiano has continued to work and to be extremely match,” he stated a few seasons in the past, though the nice reminiscence he has at all times had is of his assembly with Johan Cruyff shortly earlier than the Dutch participant, additionally of Barcelona, handed away.

He’s not the primary sportsman from his nation to check him to the Argentinian participant. The previous Dutch racing driver Robert Doornbos stated after the two-time championship that “Max is the Messi of motorsport. As soon as in a decade, a expertise like Max comes alongside, somebody who can go to this point at such a younger age is exclusive,” he stated.

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