Donyell Malen has embraced the Netherlands fans singing that Frank de Boer’s side are already Euro 2020 champions. The PSV forward shone in Monday’s 3-0 win over North Macedonia, which gave the Dutch a perfect record in Group C and they now travel to Budapest for Sunday’s last-16 tie.
The Netherlands played their group games at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruyff Arena and three wins have sparked optimism regarding the team’s chances of emulating the side that won the 1988 Euros.
Malen, though, dismissed the notion that their supporters’ songs would increase pressure on the squad. “I’m happy for them that they are doing this,” he said. “This is also what we should project as players. Hopefully we’ll win the Euros.”
Malen, who scored 19 goals in 32 Eredivisie games for PSV last season, was given a first start in attack alongside Memphis Depay on Monday. The 22-year-old created Depay’s opener, having also made the assist for Denzel Dumfries in the 2-0 victory over Austria.
“When I came in for my debut [in September 2019] with the national team he [Depay] helped me a lot,” Malen said. “I think we played a good second half [against North Macedonia] and I feel the bond gets better and stronger as time goes on as we train and play together.
“As players we fit very nicely. He knows what I can do and I know what he can do. I don’t know if we think alike but we really feel each other in those moments when we can put each other in fruitful situations and we were capable of this [against North Macedonia] but there’s room for improvement.”