Happy with a third place finish in the Hockey World Cup, the Netherlands captain Teun de Nooijer said his team wanted to win a medal for their celebrated goalkeeper Guus Vogels, who played the last international match of his glittering career here on Saturday.
.Vogels, the best goalkeeper and one of the best players in the competition, had announced before the tournament that he would hang up his boots after the World Cup. As a mark of respect, the 34-year-old Vogels was asked to lead the team in his last international game here at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.
“He was a great man, a great player. We wanted him to finish with a medal. We wanted to do that for him and we are happy. And Guus is one of those who made it happen,” the 34-year-old Nooijer said at the media briefing after beating England 4-3 in the classification match for the bronze.
Vogels had left in tears after losing the semifinal against Australia on Thursday. But he was all smiles and hugged his teammates after winning the bronze medal.
Dutch playmaker Nooijer, who put up an excellent show, said he was satisfied with the third position after finishing seventh in 2006 at Monchengladbach.
“It’s a better result for the team. We are now the number three team in the world. I feel proud for the boys. I am very happy. Of course we would like to finish at the top in future,” said the 34-year-old attacking midfielder, for whom it was the fifth World Cup on the trot.
Dutch coach Michel van den Heuvel said: “I think we have seen a very special match. Both teams played passionately and fast. England was better in the first half. But we had a very good second half. We put lot of pressure in the last 20 odd minutes and created lot of chances.”