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The Netherlands' players could scarcely hide their disappointment after their 1-0 semi-final defeat by Italy on Saturday. Midfielder Marco van Ginkel, one of the Jong Oranje's most consistent performers at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Israel, reflected on the end of a "dream", while captain Kevin Strootman struggled to find the positives after failing to win the trophy he craved.
Marco van Ginkel, Netherlands midfielder
Yes, it hurts. We had a dream of winning the final and in the semi-final we have gone out against Italy, so it's not good in the dressing room. I think we were the better team, we had a lot of chances but we just didn't score. Italy did not have so many chances and one chance goes in. It's not nice. I don't think any of of these players had played a tournament like this. Like I said, for us we wanted to go to the final and now we are out, so it's not good.
Kevin Strootman, Netherlands captain
It's such a disappointing game – I think we deserved the victory. But you know, Italy waited for one chance, we made one mistake and it's a goal. [Cor Pot] didn't say a lot because everybody was down. He just complimented all the players for giving 100%. It just wasn't meant to be in this tournament.
We know we can play better but we have a lot of new players in the team and I think we could have got to the final. But it's Italy against Spain now. It's a real disappointment. We have played some good games. Today we did well – not really good – but we did well and we had a lot of possession. But we have to score.
I want to win prizes and that's the only thing that matters. I haven't won a prize with my club this season and now the same here, so I am not pleased with the result.
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