879. Curaçao’s Soccer Rookie: Jetro Willems

PSV-er Left-back Jetro Willems (18). Source: CuracaoSport.com

Born-in-Curaçao soccer rookie Jetro Willems’ career took flight in one short year. In 2011, he became UEFA European Under 17 Champion with the Netherlands. In 2012, he represented Oranje at the Euro Championships!

At 18 years and 71 days, Willems (born March 30, 1994) made his first start for the Netherlands against Denmark at the 2012 Euro Championships, becoming the fourth youngest player to play for the Netherlands, the youngest Dutch player ever to play European soccer, and the youngest player to ever play at the EC. (Jetro played in all 3 group stage games)

“Ik heb veel vertrouwen gekregen, met name van de oudere spelers. Zij zeiden dat ik vooral moest genieten van mijn talenten en moest laten zien wat ik kan. Dat heb ik zonder angst gedaan. Ik doe gewoon waar ik goed in ben. (…) Ik kan een foutje snel van me af zetten”, zegt hij. “Zelfs de beste voetballer mist wel eens een strafschop en zelfs de slimste mens maakt wel eens een fout. Ik let alleen op mezelf, ik weet wat ik kan. Anderen zien alles bij mij van buitenaf, ik weet hoe het van binnen zit. Dat is wel in orde. Ik lach altijd, dat is goed.”

“I’ve received a lot of trust, particularly from more experienced players. They told me to enjoy my talents above all and to show the world what I can accomplish. I did that without fear. I just do what I do well. (…) I brush off mistakes quickly, even the best soccer player misses a penalty shot once in a while and even the smartest person makes mistakes sometimes. I just reflect on myself, I know what I’m capable of. Others see things from the outside, I know how things look from the inside. It’s all good. I always laugh (it off), and that’s good.”

Source: Curaçao Sport, Wednesday, 16 May 2012.

Jetro defending during UEFA Euro 2012 match between Netherlands and Denmark (June 9 2012)



About 1000awesomethingsaboutcuracao

I'm Carolina Gomes-Casseres, the creator of 1000 Awesome Things About Curaçao. I live in Manhattan but sometimes miss my first awesome island. Thanks for visiting!

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