Now that the first match of the Dutch national team at the World Cup is just around the corner, the national discussion about the keeper is reaching boiling point. Andries Noppert of sc Heerenveen seems to be making his debut tonight. Former goalkeeper Jan Ruiter, who played one international match for the Orange squad, prefers experience. “Pasveer should be the first choice,” says 75-year-old Enkhuizer firmly.
Will it be Justin Bijlow, Remko Pasveer or Andries Noppert at Senegal – Netherlands? “That is a difficult question. I think Noppert will play,” says Ruiter, who was present at the international match between the Netherlands and Belgium. In the warm-up he soon saw that Noppert made an impression. “Noppert has a lot of length, actually as it used to be with keepers. Much more than other goalkeepers in current football. He is someone who has a fairly simple life and can also handle some pressure.”
“Noppert has a lot of length, actually as it used to be with keepers”
The former goalkeeper of FC Volendam, Anderlecht and RWD Molenbeek was allowed to defend the Orange goal once. In 1976 he stood under the bar against Iceland. “I did have the necessary experience. Of course you are nervous. I was fighting out the competition with Jan van Beveren at the time. He was one of the best keepers we have ever had. some extra pressure.”
The expectation of several media is that Andries Noppert will become the first choice for Orange. “That is unique,” says Ruiter about the 28-year-old goalie, who plays at sc Heerenveen. “If you have played so little at the top level and then you can make your debut there. That is a boy’s dream. It cannot be described,” says Ruiter, who joined the 1976 European Championship as the third keeper just before his debut in Orange, behind Piet Schrijvers and Jan Jongbloed.
“You only have to get a ball wrong on your finger once. A goalkeeper in the goal is very fragile”
Would Ruiter also have chosen Noppert? “Well, not in principle. I would have always opted for experience. Especially in such a tournament.” Then the former international will sooner end up at Bijlow or Pasveer. “Bijlow has proven in the last two years that he is one of the better keepers. The only pity is that he is prone to injury. Pasveer has been around for years and plays at Ajax. He has been doing that all season. That should actually be the first choice to be.”
However, Pasveer’s form is debatable. “You have to look through that. If you are allowed to go to a World Cup at that age, you have to show your good side. Then you have to support everyone, in a kind of father role. An injury can always occur. You only have to do one get a ball wrong on your finger. A keeper in the goal is very fragile. Then you have to be ready.”
The Dutch national team will start the World Cup against Senegal this afternoon at 5 p.m. The group also consists of Qatar and Ecuador. “We play against Africans. They are athletic guys. They are well used to the circumstances. You have to get past them and they will have to fight hard. I think it will be 2-1 for the Netherlands.”