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Memphis Depay on Netherlands' Nations League dream

Memphis Depay on the Netherlands' "great goal" of the UEFA Nations League, facing England and Ronald Koeman's influence.

Memphis Depay on Netherlands' Nations League dream
Memphis Depay on Netherlands' Nations League dream ©Getty Images

Memphis Depay could come up against some former Manchester United colleagues when the Netherlands take on England in Thursday's UEFA Nations League semi-final in Guimaraes.

The Lyon forward speaks to UEFA.com about the chance of silverware after a difficult few years for the Dutch, what Ronald Koeman has changed since becoming coach in 2018, and the up-and-coming Oranje talent that make the 25-year-old seem a veteran.

On the UEFA Nations League Finals …

First of all, you are playing for a trophy. That's very important for us. We have some younger guys, some guys with more experience: we have a great group. We need to try to get used to winning trophies if we want to be a successful team, because that's what successful teams do. And when you're this close, two games away from the prize, then that's a great goal.

Watch all the Netherlands' UEFA Nations League goals

On facing England in Thursday's semi-final …

Tough opponents indeed. They're a team with players who are getting used to winning trophies; players from [Manchester] City and players who are in the Champions League final. It will be a good but tough game and I am confident we can beat them.

On what Ronald Koeman has brought as coach …

Communication with the players. He has improved that a lot. Everything we have to do is clear. Everyone's pulling in the same direction, and you can tell by watching us.

Road to the Finals

On what has changed in the team's play …

The first and most important thing on this journey was and is the results, because in the past we have missed the end of the journey because of the results. Everything was focused on the results, but in terms of the way of playing, I think we play with flair. We have matured as the games have gone on and also the trust has grown for every player.

On the atmosphere in the squad …

We communicate a lot, and that was less so in the past. You can tell many of the boys get along. There is lot of laughing. The energy and team spirit are both very good. You can tell during both training and matches. That's very important, and we are making progress.

Flashback: Memphis at United

On the up-and-coming Dutch youngsters ...

It is amazing and unbelievable how quickly they adjusted and are now fixtures in the team, especially [Matthijs] de Ligt at the back and [Frenkie] de Jong in midfield. They're important to the team in how we want to play. I can really enjoy that. But there's also Steven Bergwijn, another young player who's staked his claim for a starting place.

On facing old Manchester United colleagues …

It is always good to see my former team-mates: Marcus [Rashford], Jesse [Lingard]. I speak to them now and then but it is always fun and they are developing very well. I know what to expect from them and they know what we are doing as the Netherlands. They need to prepare well and I hope it will be a good game. I look forward to it.