For many reasons, including the fact that the chance to win Olympic gold only presents itself every four years, the fact that only a small number of teams participate in the tournament, and the greater prominence of events like the FIFA World CupTM and the UEFA EUROS, the sport’s top players typically do not make this achievement one of their top priorities.
However, when an Olympic year rolls along and the opportunity to win gold for their country presents itself, they suddenly become completely dedicated to the cause. Just ask Lieke Martens, a huge star in the Netherlands.
L. Martens Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Martens, who was named the best women’s player in the world by FIFA in 2017, has had a great season with Barcelona and is looking to cap off a perfect year with a championship in Tokyo. Winning an Olympic medal with the Netherlands would be a fantastic way to cap off a fantastic year with Barcelona.
The Dutch midfielder has been with Los Azulgrana for four years after joining the team from Swedish club Rosengard. Despite a slow start to her Barcelona career due to injuries and adjustment issues, she has emerged as a key player and has been credited with helping the club win a historic treble of the UEFA Women’s Champions League, the Primera Division, and the Copa de la Reina.
With the Netherlands women’s team fully aware of its lofty stature in the game and with true designs on a place on the podium, Lieke now has Olympic glory in her sights. A lot of eyes will be on Sarina Wiegman’s squad in Tokyo because they are the defending European champions and were runners-up at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019TM.
‘When you play for your country in the Games, you want to do your best and go for the maximum prize,’ Martens added. A major event is planned for Tokyo.
We’re a strong team with our own areas of expertise. We’re well aware that there are other strong teams in the tournament, so we’ll need to play our best if we hope to advance.
The 28-year-old went on to declare, “I don’t think you can claim we’re the favourites. After winning the Women’s EUROs and coming in second at the 2019 World Cup, I am aware that there is a lot of pressure on us to do well.
It’s a bit of a reach to say we’re the favourites, not when you’ve got the USA there, but I think we can accomplish something great again, like we have in the last couple of years.