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The boy rejected as ‘not good enough’ has put the Netherlands through to the World Cup quarter-finals

As a teenager, Denzel Dumfries was rejected by Feyenoord, who did not consider him good enough. After a few years, he is the hero of the Netherlands, the first national team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar.

“He’s a textbook example of what it means to follow your dream. Such people are needed. In an increasingly cold football world, many dreams are shattered. It’s nice to see that someone succeeds, that he doesn’t give up on his dream just because no one saw him when he was 15.” Ronnie Nouwen is an anonymous celebrity. But he knows Denzel Dumfries well, with whom he was a colleague at Barendrecht.An amateur team where the current Netherlands right winger played at 17. At the time, it seemed to be the maximum for the Rotterdam-born boy. The kid who was named after Denzel Washington, one of the most famous and appreciated actors in Hollywood, always dreamed of being a professional football player, but initially few believed in his qualities.

His first club, Spartaan ’20, dropped him after only 2 years, considering that he could no longer progress. At the age of 15, a Feyenoord scout gave him the sure verdict: “He’s not good enough.” “There were too many doubts about his football qualities. Someone can be very strong at the age of 15, but this advantage often disappears by the age of 18”, Maup Martens, who rejected him, tried to defend himself years later.

However, Dumfries never gave up on his dream. He accepted whatever was offered to him. When the opportunity arose to play for Aruba, his father’s home country, he didn’t hesitate. And so, in 2014, at the age of 18, he played his first two international matches. He also managed to score a goal for the small Caribbean national team, but made no secret of the fact that he wanted to represent the Netherlands.

Also in 2014, after he had just turned of age, he also signed his first professional contract, with Sparta Rotterdam. Back then, his hometown’s second team was in the second division. But for Denzel, things were starting to move. After two years, came the promotion to the Eredivisie and the debut in the Dutch football elite. After another season, transfer to Heerenveen. Then, after only one year, the giant step – the move to PSV Eindhoven. Shortly after, in October 2018, he fulfilled his big dream. He played his first game for the Netherlands in a 3-0 win over Germany in the Nations League.

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