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Memphis Depay issues fitness update after entering World Cup knockouts with the Netherlands

Netherlands became the latest team to book a place in the Round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup 2022 following their 2-0 victory over hosts Qatar.

The Oranje finished at the top of Group A thanks to the victory which came courtesy of goals from Cody Gakpo and Frenkie de Jong.

It was a good performance from Louis van Gaal’s men who had looked a bit off-colour in their previous match. The game also marked the return of Barcelona forward Memphis Depay to the starting XI.

The 28-year-old had made substitute appearances in each of the Netherlands’ last two matches against Senegal and Ecuador, having spent the last couple of months out injured.

And on his first start at this World Cup, the Barcelona striker fared decently, playing a part in both of the goals that his team scored on the day.

Speaking after the match to the media, Depay gave an update on his fitness, saying (h/t NOS): “I’m fully fit, but the doctors want to be cautious with me. It’s been a long time since I started a match, and it hasn’t been easy.”

The Netherlands ace also added that he was tired of talking about his injury and fitness and hoped to put these questions in the rearview.

“I hope we don’t have to talk about it anymore [my fitness]. I am pretty much done with having to hear about it all the time,” he added.

Meanwhile, Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal was extremely pleased with the performance put up by Depay, as he said that the Barcelona forward makes a big difference for the team.

“Because of Memphis, we make the difference,” van Gaal said (h/t NOS). “He is incredibly important. I am extremely satisfied. Don’t forget he hasn’t played for two months. If we want to become world champions, Depay has to play.”

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