In most parts of the soccer world, with a few exceptions, particularly among Latinos, it is the player’s last name that goes on the jersey and makes him famous. The star of the French national team is known as Mbappe, not Kylian. England’s top scorer is Kane, not Harry. Memphis Depay, No. 10 from the Netherlands, is an exception.
He even uses his full name on social media, as usual in football, but insists he only have his first name on the back of his jersey: Memphis. The reason is grief for the father, from whom he inherited the title, which was absent after the separation of the mother and father, when the player was four years old.
At the moment, they are in a relationship, but Memphis makes no secret of how bad it is not having his father around. “Now we’re fine. When I was 22, I forgave him. He’s not a bad guy, he didn’t take responsibility, and he knows it. I was mad for a long time, because you were asked so much about it in interviews, in the middle of football, People make fun of it, but at the end of the day it’s going to make me a good dad when I’m a dad.
“Okay, show me what I should do, the best, what I shouldn’t do, to be a good father. I’m very proud of myself, and he’s the one I missed out on so many things,” he continued.
Dennis Depay, the father of the Dutch star, Ghani, emigrated to the Netherlands, married local Cora Schinesima, and their relationship resulted in Memphis. Although after the divorce his father moved away from the family, the player did not move away from his Ghanaian roots.
He chose to play for the Dutch national team, the country where he was born, raised and trained as an athlete, but maintained ties with Ghana. During his recent vacation, he visited the country, as he does on a regular basis, and even met President Nana Akufo-Addo.
“Grateful to meet the President of a country I love so much. Coming home is always great and Ghana is the future, so stay tuned,” he wrote on Twitter. On social media, he also allowed himself to be photographed on a yacht flying the flags of Ghana and the Netherlands. Besides him, midfielder Kodi Gakow, another star of the Dutch national team, also has Ghanaian ancestry.
Heights and depressions
At the age of 28, Memphis has impressive numbers in a Holland jersey. With 43 goals, he could not surpass Robin van Persie’s seven goals and became Orange’s all-time top scorer. And with 15 more appearances, he will enter the list of the 10 most played players for the national team. If he stays in the team for another World Cup he will have everything to get close to, if not pass, Van de Sar and Sneijder at the top of the list.
Despite this, he has yet to appear to be the player he promised to be at the start of his career. After playing for all the youth teams in the Netherlands and doing well at PSV Eindhoven, he was sold Manchester United For £25m in one of the biggest transfers of the year.
But the Dutchman did not perform as expected. He scored only two goals and left through the back door, and was sold to Lyon. In France, in four years, he found good football again. He scored almost a goal in every game and once again caught the attention of the European giants. He ended up signing with Barcelona for the 2021/2022 season.
Owner of jersey number 9, he was on the bench for most of the season, but scored 12 goals in the Spanish Championship. With the arrival of Rafinha and Lewandowski, he’s starting to get less space, even more so because he’s had more than a month injured. With confidence, Van Gaal was called up to the Cup, started on the bench, but became a key player in the season and scored one of the winning goals against the United States.
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