Published: 10:43, June 12, 2024
Dad drives boots to Germany for Maatsen after late call-up
By Reuters
Real Madrid's Federico Valverde (right) challenges for the ball with Dortmund's Ian Maatsen during the Champions League final soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid at Wembley stadium in London, June 1, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

WOLFSBURG, Germany - Uncapped Ian Maatsen was holidaying on a yacht off Mykonos when he got a call up on Monday night for the European Championship and was asked to join up with the Netherlands squad as quickly as he could.

He wasted no time and was present for early evening training on Tuesday with the Dutch who arrived at their base in Wolfsburg after beating Iceland 4-0 in their final warm-up friendly in Rotterdam on Monday.

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It was thanks to his father driving from the Netherlands to Germany to bring his boots that Maatsen was able to shake off the holiday cobwebs and begin to dream of winning a first cap and taking part in a major tournament.

"Ian first wanted to come first to the Netherlands, but that didn't seem like a good idea to us," said his father Edward Maatsen, who first drove three hours from their home in Vlaardingen to Dortmund, where Maatsen plays for Borussia Dortmund.

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There they packed his boots and some other personal items and headed off for another three hours to Wolfsburg.

It is a journey the Maatsen family know well travelling regularly to watch their son in the Bundesliga.

"We know that as a family member you are always involved,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

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"This European Championship is the icing on the cake. As a parent you are very proud and do everything you can to keep it on track and to keep everything around it as stable as possible.”

Left wingback Maatsen comes into the squad after injury ruled out both Frenkie de Jong and Teun Koopmeiners.

His initial omission from the squad raised eyebrows. Maatsen spent the 2023-24 season on loan at Dortmund from Chelsea, helping the German side to the Champions League final, where they lost to Real Madrid.

The Dutch begin their Euro 2024 campaign in Hamburg on Sunday against Poland.