MILAN – The whole team lined up in front of him and only one aim: defend the goal. Stefan de Vrij feels the responsibility of his role, but doesn’t fear it. Over the years, the Dutch defender has faced every challenge with strength and tenacity, and he works every day to improve himself as a man and as a footballer.
His history is full of anecdotes and facts, starting with chasing his idols, as de Vrij revealed in the exclusive interview for the Matchday Programme.
The hunt for autographs
“When I was young, there were three Feyenoord players in the village where I lived and every week I went to ask for autographs, so I know the excitement that can be created. I’ve always had a special bond with the fans, I like to feel their adoration and reciprocate it wherever possible.”
His greatest Nerazzurri matches
“The #DerbyMilano, in which I scored, and the first match in the Champions League last season against Tottenham, where I made an assist in the dying minutes.”
His strength to bounce back
“Looking back, maybe it’s the hard times that have strengthened me the most: when something bad happens then you grow and learn. Now that I realize that, when something bad happens I just tell myself that it’ll help me to get stronger.”
Quality and improvement in Italy
“My best attributes are my technical ability, concentration and positioning, but there’s still a lot of work to do. I already liked to play out from the back, and here in Italy instead I’ve learned to work as one unit and to defend tactically, which has helped me a lot.”
A role of responsibility
“I’m one of those people who feels a lot of responsibility, my role is also one that requires being responsible: you’re in a central position and have the whole team ahead of you. The people closest to me have helped a lot.”