I am used to wearing the kit of clubs with teammates who are household names. But it’s the first time that I share the experience of contributing to a book written and introduced by two great scientists.
When I was invited to write this foreword as a representative of football, I experienced the same tension that I feel when we are playing a final: where a draw is an impossible outcome. We are going to extra time, so there’s no other choice but to proceed to penalties. Then the time comes when the coach decides the five penalty-takers’ names, including mine, and assigns me last place. The butterflies begin to flutter in my stomach immediately. I am nervous, but I must control myself so that the ball leaves my boot and hits the back of the net. It will be the cry of “goal!” from the fans which returns me to a reality of a victory achieved.
I have learned great lessons from my coaches. I am Dutch, the homeland of the great master Johan Cruyff. His motto of “Come out, play and enjoy” is engraved with fire on our skin and is part of our DNA. When Pep Guardiola told us: “The ball must roll close to the toe of the boot. Not to be missed. Run-dance and don’t let the opponent get hold of it”, it was very easy advice to follow.
But running, pressing, shooting and tackling require training and great dedication on and off the field. That is the sacrifice needed to become a professional. It’s a similar story for the scientists who are studying, discovering and developing the appropriate treatment to deliver the killer goal which defeats this terrible virus; a disease which has affected so many people.
This book explains the disease in an easy-to-understand way and how you can protect yourself from coronavirus. Readers are sure to find the answers to any questions they may have. The author, following what Johan Cruyff said, “has studied, written and enjoyed” whilst writing this book.
Clubs: PSV Eindhoven (2004-10); F. C. Barcelona (2010-15); F. C. Schalke 04 (2012. on loan); Olympiacos FC (2014. on loan); Stoke City FC (2015-2019); PSV Eindhoven (2019-2020).
Capped by the Netherlands 53 times.
Participation in World Cups: World Youth Cup 2005 and World Cup 2010 (Runner-up)
Participation in European Championships: 2008 and 2012
Talent of the Year in the Netherlands: 2007