Born Dutchman can make his debut for Gibraltar against the Orange

Niels Hartman — © GIBRALTAR FA

The Netherlands is experiencing an international period of extremes. After the painful confrontation with France, number 3 in the FIFA ranking and one of the largest football countries in the world, follows a meeting with Gibraltar, a genuine football dwarf.

JEROEN CAPTEINS

The overseas territory of England, located on the peninsula at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, has an area of ​​only 6.8 square kilometers and a population of just under 33,000. In the FIFA ranking, which consists of 211 countries, Gibraltar is in 200th place, as the second lowest ranked European country. Only San Marino is lower.

Since 2013, the Gibraltar national team has been active in country football. The Dutch have already played against Gibraltar twice before, in the World Cup qualification two years ago. Then it became 6-0 in De Kuip and 7-0 in Gibraltar. The football dwarf has not suffered such large defeats this year and last year. The last three international matches have been: a 3-0 defeat against Greece last Friday at the kick-off of the European Championship qualification, a 1-0 win over Andorra and a 2-0 win over Liechtenstein. Last year, Gibraltar even managed to keep Bulgaria 1-1 in a Nations League match. On the other hand, Gibraltar has lost all qualifying matches for European Championships and World Cups, 37 in total, that the country has ever played.

A notable name in the selection of Gibraltar is that of Niels Hartman, a Dutchman from Schoonhoven, who lived in Gibraltar for a few years in his youth, recently obtained a passport from the mini-state and can make his debut against the Orange in De Kuip. make for the national team. The 22-year-old midfielder plays for the University team of the English Loughborough University, where he is studying mechanical engineering, and was previously active in the youth academy of the Spanish Algecira. Two years ago, during an internship for his studies, he played for a while for HSC from Sappemeer, the amateur club of which Hans Nijland is chairman. Hartman was on the bench for the first time against the Greeks, but he did not get any playing time yet.

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