Goalkeeper ready to stop Messi
Messi Stop, I am a small person. I still dreamed. But if you look at my career, you will understand that my dream was already over. Still, when it came true, the moment was something special. My story is one that children can learn from – nothing is impossible.’
Andris Knoppert’s words
Correct the mistake before listening to his story. Knoppert calls himself a ‘little man’ out of modesty. The Netherlands goalkeeper is the tallest player at the World Cup in Qatar, with a height of 6 feet 8 inches. Yesterday, the Netherlands and Argentina practiced side by side on the field at Qatar National University, a few meters away. Lionel Messi must have seen Knoppert. Knoppert must have measured Messi by the eyes.
These two will have a ‘fight’ at the turn of the Argentina-Netherlands quarter-final fight tonight. The match tiebreaker will be the main battle. Knoppert is ready for that, ‘I’m always ready. He (Messi) misses. I saw it at the beginning of the World Cup. He is like ten other flesh and blood people. Always kicks with the same foot. I can also prevent his penalty.
Knoppert, 28, got that confidence from his own life. His is a life where even two weeks ago his place in the Dutch team’s starting XI was not guaranteed. No one saw him in the Dutch team two months ago. And two years ago he had no future in football. He has also thought about leaving the gloves of goalkeeping and entering the police force.
Knoppert made his international debut in the Dutch’s first match against Senegal in the World Cup. It was his 51st match in his professional career. Out of this, he has played 34 in the last one and a half years. But the club career started 9 years ago. After joining the local team Heerenveen in 2013, Knoppert spent 8 years as a nomad. He was out of the field for a year only with a knee injury. Did not get a chance to play any matches for Heerenveen. They the joined Dutch team, Breda, in 2014. He played just three league games as the team’s backup goalkeeper over the next four years.
Disappointed, Knoppert left the country and joined Italian Serie B side Fozza. Far from making a career there, even the car he drove from the Netherlands to Fozza couldn’t keep up. Stolen by the Foggian mafia. Noppert, nicknamed ‘Skyscraper’ in Italian football, could not settle down.
The club was relegated after playing only eight matches. As luck was not good, he returned home and joined Dordrecht in the Dutch second division. At that time he thought of joining the police once under the pressure of his family. In the end, football love wins. But before that victory, there is also a story of disappointment.
Dordrecht due to injury
Can only play two matches for Dordrecht due to injury. Knoppert was unemployed from June 2020 to 2021 after the club released him. He was seeing the end of his career due to injuries and no club during the lockdown. But Knoppert did not give up. Dutch top league side Go Ahead Eagles are in urgent need of a goalkeeper.
Knoppert’s forehead opens
There, Heerenveen was called up again as a reward for good play on a six-month contract. The club was promoted to the Dutch top league at the time. Knoppert also performed well there and caught the eye of Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal.
Even though he was called up to the national team last September, Von Gaal did not play. Hear how Knoppert felt after getting a chance in the World Cup squad in November, ‘I never thought about getting a chance in the World Cup squad. There is no shortage of goalkeepers in the Netherlands. Later, I was shown on TV. Before that, I got to know about getting the opportunity in the mail. However, there was a possibility of omission and it was notified. So I wasn’t so sure. After seeing my name on TV, I was sure. More Football News
Knoppert’s life story has long surpassed his stature. Now it’s time to overtake Messi!