Football player sometimes sings in the canteen, now he is a finalist on Holland’s Got Talent

After a football match, Raoel Noijen (27) from Den Bosch would sometimes take the microphone in the canteen to sing along to a song. But performing on stage was completely new. He registered for the popular television program Holland’s Got Talent without any experience and is even in the final. And all ‘thanks to’ a burnout. “I want to show that it is possible to make your dreams come true, no matter how dark life looks for you.”

His final place in Holland’s Got Talent turned his life upside down. “I am a store manager in a sports store in Den Bosch and I notice that people come in and want to take a picture with me. That I am recognized on the street. That’s fun, but it also takes some getting used to. I don’t feel like any other Raoel than for my participation.”

Not many people knew that he could sing so well. “I once sang a song in the canteen and received compliments. Those people had quite a bit of alcohol in them, so I didn’t know how seriously to take it,” he says, laughing.

“I’m really shocked by young people in therapy.”

The fact that he decided to sign up for the television program was due to a dark period in his life. Raoel was suffering from a burnout and sought help. “I saw many young people around me who were in therapy. I was very shocked by that. There were also people who sometimes thought about harming themselves, but I never had those thoughts.”

The therapy made Raoel start singing to express his feelings. He recovered and has a positive outlook on life again. “My goal with Holland’s Got Talent was to convey a message. No matter how bad you feel, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I have received many responses from people who have gained strength from that.”

His goal to help others remains, but the television program has also created another goal. “Earning a living from singing seems great to me. There are people who want to work with me. And while during my audition I was still thinking to myself: what have I gotten myself into? Fortunately, I heard cheering during my first swing, and that made me lose my nerves.”

By the way, there were not only positive words after Raoel’s performances. For example, on social media there was talk about his English pronunciation. “I speak English in Brabant style. The pronunciation is lousy, I dare say that. In the final I sing a Dutch song. I’ve never done that before, but I thought this was the time to try.”

“I have also had ups and downs in football.”

In addition to his work and his budding singing career, Raoel has another hobby. He has been playing football on the field for years in the Den Bosch region, in the hall at Eredivisie club BE’79 in Berkel-Enschot. “I have also had ups and downs in football. As an indoor football talent, I played for the Dutch Juniors, but I suffered an open fracture. Ultimately I fought back and now I play football in the Eredivisie. I love the game and hope to be able to combine it for a long time.”

The final can be seen on RTL 4 on Friday, November 3 at 8 p.m.