Mark Flekken has admitted that if someone told him a year and a half ago that he’d be going to the World Cup with the Netherlands, he wouldn’t have believed them.
Flekken has become a permanent fixture in the Oranje squad since Louis van Gaal took charge just over a year ago and thus is all but certain to be on the plane to Qatar.
Before Van Gaal came in, the goalkeeper wasn’t even on the radar of his country but attracted the attention of the veteran coach with his club performances in Germany.
He admits that as recently as a year and a half ago, he would have never believed he’d be going to the World Cup.
“If I look at where I came from, what development I’ve made since my elbow injury two years ago, going along would be such a beautiful thing,” he told Voetbal International.
“A year and a half ago I would have said you were crazy, one hundred percent. I had been out for six months and played barely ten games in the Bundesliga.
“And then I suddenly heard Louis van Gaal say my name on TV. I never expected that.”
It’s unlikely that he’ll start at the World Cup, with Jasper Cillessen and perhaps Remko Pasveer ahead of him in the pecking order after he failed to impress Van Gaal hugely when given the chance.
While he admits he hasn’t played his best matches for the Netherlands though, he thinks the media are too harsh on him and that it has something to do with the fact that he doesn’t play in his home country.
“People probably form their opinion based on those international matches where I didn’t show my best side. It’s a shame they don’t see what I do every three or four days at my club,” he said.
“I sometimes catch that they know little about Mark Flekken, because we never see him goalkeeping. I sometimes think that is a shame, I’ll just say. Germany is apparently still a long way off and Freiburg is still a small club for many people.”
GBeNeFN | Finley Crebolder