Will rip the right net? Holland needs Simmons

“Today’s kids are more involved in social networks than in football”, how many times have you heard this sentence from former players of various kinds? It seems that the one who represents this cliché more than anything today in world football, and not rightly so, is the young star of the Dutch national team, Xavi Simmons.

When Simmons is asked about his large Instagram following (5.9 million as of this writing), he immediately bristles. In general, the midfielder of the Orange team, who had a tremendous season in Leipzig, is less fond of talking, but it seems that he feels injustice and is even more reluctant when the majority of the spotlight and talk around him is directed to his popularity on social networks. To tell the truth, he has a good reason for it.

Because Simmons’ social media persona, where everything looks glamorous, might be lying. It is easy to make a mistake and think that throughout his career everything went easily for Simmons, and even if that was the case in some cases, when he was only 21 years old, Simmons had already managed to cover a mileage that does not embarrass players near the end of their career.

Xavi Simmons (Reuters)Xavi Simmons (Reuters)

In fact, already at the age of 3 he and his family left the Netherlands for Catalonia, until at the age of 6 he passed the tests in Barcelona. His blond hair immediately caught the eye and earned him the nickname “Rizzo d’Oro” – the golden curl, when the name Xavi, plus the fact that he wore the shirt with the number 14 of the legendary Johan Cruyff as a Dutchman, put a kind of aura over him, something special that could not be easily ignore it.

They say that with great power comes great responsibility, and it can be said that the feeling of “stardom” at a young age is something that does not necessarily always have a positive effect for players at these ages, and there are many examples of this in history. Even so, Simmons never turned his nose up. “I was alone in Barcelona, ​​I’m four years older than Xavi, but he still helped me a lot. He always knew that he would reach the highest levels, but at the same time he always thought of others,” he told the British “Guardian” about him Bobby Adekanyawho played with him in the youth of Barcelona.

At 16, Simmons made an unusual decision. In one post on Instagram, the midfielder announced that he is ending his career at the Blaugrana, and is moving to Paris Saint-Germain. This earned him harsh reactions and many curses from fans on the networks, who saw him as someone who was motivated only by money.

Xavi Simmons (Reuters)Xavi Simmons (Reuters)

Simmons He never shared the reason why he left Barcelona, ​​but in a rather rare interview with the Dutch magazine ‘Helden’ last year, he said that not everything was rosy on the financial side, to say the least, when he revealed that “I had a difficult childhood with my single mother, who worked 12 hours a day to support us and she still didn’t always have enough money to buy herself something to eat. After I got my salary from PSG, I bought clothes for my mother and sister, it was nice to give something back.”

Thus, at the age of only 17, Simmons found himself training with Leo Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar. Many raised an eyebrow when he chose to move to a star-studded team where he would need a miracle to get playing minutes, but if you ask him, this is a very important decision in his career: “I trained with these guys every day, I went to the games, I saw how they behaved, it helped me Lots. People sometimes say ‘he didn’t play’, but what do they expect when ahead of me in the hierarchy are players like Messi and Neymar?”

By the way, in the same interview, Simmons also revealed the good relationship between him and the Brazilian star and even said: “Neymar knew him from the time in Barcelona and helped me a lot, I was like a little brother to him. People have a certain image of him, but they only see him as a footballer, off the field he is a very good person.”

In any case, Simmons’ first term at PSG was shorter than expected. In the youth he starred, but in the senior team he made only 11 appearances, and as part of the desire to accumulate playing minutes, the move to the next destination was an inevitable move. Simmons, who until the age of 17 had never played in his homeland, returned to Elia and signed a five-year contract with PSV Eindhoven. He exploded in the media with a record season of 22 goals and 12 assists in 48 games in all formats. That was enough for PSG to realize what a talent they had on their hands, and they bought him back a year later and loaned him to Leipzig, who turned out to be a perfect destination for him at this stage of his career.

Leipzig is known as a team that advocates attacking, enterprising football, one that gives fertile ground for players like Simmons to express what they know on the pitch. The Dutchman’s starting position is usually on the left side, but he often goes into the center and does his actions from there, with a skill set that is very close to nauseating in its entirety; Spectacular dribbling, a great kick to the goal and reading and understanding the game one step forward while he is known to move excellently even without the ball, all of which helped him record an outstanding season with 15 assists and ten goals, most of them spectacular and show how wide his skill set is.

Xavi Simmons (Reuters)Xavi Simmons (Reuters)

This season earned Simmons rightfully the status of a senior player in the Dutch national team. In the years when Dutch football is not loaded with big stars and it seems that coach Ronald Koeman makes lemonade out of lemons, or oranges into refreshing orange juice in this case, Simmons gains the status of a senior player in the current team. Returning to the strength that follows the responsibility – then Xavi also felt the great responsibility on his shoulders, when he received quite a bit of criticism after his weak game against Turkey in the quarter-finals, in which he was also saved from a red card in the first half.

And yet, he already has three assists in this Euro, and it seems that the industry of reports surrounding him this summer does not bother him. Meanwhile, in Germany it is reported that the deal to transfer him to Bayern Munich has already been closed and he is expected to arrive in Bavaria in order to help Vincent Kompany’s team regain the championship plate that was lost to Bayer Leverkusen last season after 11 consecutive. But before that, he wants one more “small” title – to be European champion. For that, he’ll have to start tearing down the right nets.

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