“On Why I’m rooting for Netherlands for World Cup 2014”
Three words (or maybe just two): Jonathan de Guzman.
For the first time since I started following international football, a player with Filipino blood will be in the starting line-up of one of the top contenders in Brazil (that is if he recovers from a recent injury during training).
He’s father is a Filipino. Bobby de Guzman, came to Canada when they were ten years old and have three children: a daughter Jenelle and the two sons Jonathan and Julian. De Guzmán’s older brother, Julian de Guzmán, is also a professional football player, who currently plays for Skoda Xanthi F.C. De Guzmán’s childhood was completely focused on football. His father first wanted his sons to play basketball, but due to the brothers short height, they started to focus on other sports. Once they started playing football, the brothers fell in love with the sport completely: “After school, all we did was playing football. That was pretty unusual in Canada, because almost nobody of our age did it. Canada is not a football country, we were exceptions.”
After Roma midfield maestro and Manchester United target Kevin Strootman got injured last March in a game vs. Napoli making him unfit for World Cup in June, it is the time for Swansea’s de Guzman to step up.
De Guzman will partner AC Milan’s Nigel de Jong in midfield to support the attacking trident of Manchester United’s Robin van Persie, Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben, and Galatasaray’s Wesley Sneijder.
Netherlands are in a tough group with title-holder Spain and a Chile side powered by Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez and Juventus’ Arturo Vidal.
Recent news indicate that de Guzman might not recover in time for their first game vs. Spain. The Oranje is hoping he’ll make it for the next two games to help them qualify for the knockout stages.