The boy rejected as ‘not good enough’ has put the Netherlands through to the World Cup quarter-finals

Denzel Dumfries

As a teenager, Denzel Dumfries was rejected by Feyenoord, who did not consider him good enough. After a few years, he is the hero of the Netherlands, the first national team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar.

“He’s a textbook example of what it means to follow your dream. Such people are needed. In an increasingly cold football world, many dreams are shattered. It’s nice to see that someone succeeds, that he doesn’t give up on his dream just because no one saw him when he was 15.” Ronnie Nouwen is an anonymous celebrity. But he knows Denzel Dumfries well, with whom he was a colleague at Barendrecht.An amateur team where the current Netherlands right winger played at 17. At the time, it seemed to be the maximum for the Rotterdam-born boy. The kid who was named after Denzel Washington, one of the most famous and appreciated actors in Hollywood, always dreamed of being a professional football player, but initially few believed in his qualities.

His first club, Spartaan ’20, dropped him after only 2 years, considering that he could no longer progress. At the age of 15, a Feyenoord scout gave him the sure verdict: “He’s not good enough.” “There were too many doubts about his football qualities. Someone can be very strong at the age of 15, but this advantage often disappears by the age of 18”, Maup Martens, who rejected him, tried to defend himself years later.

However, Dumfries never gave up on his dream. He accepted whatever was offered to him. When the opportunity arose to play for Aruba, his father’s home country, he didn’t hesitate. And so, in 2014, at the age of 18, he played his first two international matches. He also managed to score a goal for the small Caribbean national team, but made no secret of the fact that he wanted to represent the Netherlands.

Also in 2014, after he had just turned of age, he also signed his first professional contract, with Sparta Rotterdam. Back then, his hometown’s second team was in the second division. But for Denzel, things were starting to move. After two years, came the promotion to the Eredivisie and the debut in the Dutch football elite. After another season, transfer to Heerenveen. Then, after only one year, the giant step – the move to PSV Eindhoven. Shortly after, in October 2018, he fulfilled his big dream. He played his first game for the Netherlands in a 3-0 win over Germany in the Nations League.

More from Qonversations


shutterstock 2312393949 Large

Sign language steps up the game at FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™


shutterstock 1726037752 Medium

FIFA boosts club compensation to $209 million following Qatar World Cup


shutterstock 2295610223 Large

The Stage is set: Unveiling the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup details


shutterstock 2232446129 Large

Scientific study refutes concerns over MERS-CoV transmission during FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar

Front of mind
Screenshot 2023 12 09 at 10.12.32 scaled

Internet penetration should “come with an awareness campaign” – Matthew Martin

Eleanor Sa-Carneiro

In an era dominated by technological advancements, the expansion of internet access in high growth or developing countries […]

Read more
Screenshot 2023 12 02 at 11.54.33 Large

Legal landscape shifts to empower women in the workplace – Laetitia Saint Maur

Eleanor Sa-Carneiro

During an interview discussing women’s health and workplace dynamics, an expert provided insights, into emerging frameworks and trends […]

Read more