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Olivier Hortensius is still going to the World Cup

Olivier Hortensius is still going to the World Cup

Oliver Hortensius will be participating in the Under-21 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Almost self-evident. He has been one of the regulars for the Netherlands Juniors for a long time. However, now, his selection hangs by a thread due to persistent back pain.

Oliver Hortensius will be participating in the Under-21 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Almost self-evident. He has been one of the regulars for the Netherlands Juniors for a long time. However, now, his selection hangs by a thread due to persistent back pain.

The Vlaardingen attacker (21), who plays for major league club HC Rotterdam, saw more specialists and therapists than he would have liked after going to the doctor in February and being diagnosed with a ‘mild hernia’. “Everybody has something different to say,” he asked. Eventually it turned out to be a pinched nerve. This made it difficult for him to walk and even to sleep. And there was doubt among the national coaches about his selection. It hurt him a lot. “Because at some point you wonder: when is this going to stop? I want to be fit and healthy. The national coach said make sure you’re fit. Then I gritted my teeth for a moment. It’s nice to see that it creates confidence from the team management and that I can come. Hortensius, who has been playing in HC Rotterdam’s main team since the age of seventeen, was also present when the Dutch juniors were knocked out by Argentina in the last-minute quarter-finals in 2021. The South Americans then beat Germany in the final.Last year, he became European champion with the Dutch juniors.

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HC Rotterdam is the main supplier with five players from the Netherlands, who will play against Pakistan, Belgium and New Zealand in the group stage at the World Cup. “It’s doable on paper,” he assesses. “Of course we’re going for the title. There’s still something to do after 2021, even after we finish fifth. But you’re playing in a strange stadium far away from home. It creates a different atmosphere, so maybe a different result.”