Two days after being knocked out of the World Cup on penalties by the Netherlands in the quarter-final against Argentina, Wut Weghorst returned home to Born. It is a small town to the east of the Netherlands, close to the border with Germany.

There was a match in the city.

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His brother Twan played in attack for Wut’s first club, the amateur team RKSV NEO, which plays in the fifth tier of Dutch football. Without any fanfare, just two days after pissing off Lionel Messi and company, Wout was there supporting his local team – another face in the small crowd.

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In a career that has already taken him from playing amateur football until the age of 17, when he was written off, to proving his doubters wrong by achieving Bundesliga success and playing in the Premier League and Turkish Super League, the city of Born remains his home. NEO President Edwin Seewalkink says Wut’s arrival at his old club just 48 hours after scoring both goals in the World Cup quarter-finals shows the nature of his character. “He’s a handsome man,” Zewalkink told Sportzshala.

And while there are already detractors who say his short-term move to Manchester United will end in failure – Dutch greats Marco van Basten and Wesley Sneijder have already questioned a loan move to Old Trafford – his loved ones are unwavering in their belief that he will succeed. Weghorst used to shove the words of his critics in their faces.

PSV Eindhoven manager and legendary Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy knows what it takes to succeed in the Premier League with Manchester United, scoring 150 goals for the club between 2001 and 2006.

“I think Wut has so much character and qualities that he’s going to stay there,” Van Nistelrooy said at a press conference when asked about Weghorst by Sportzshala. “I tested it with the Dutch national team. He’s just a great guy, with an incredibly competitive nature. We also saw it at the World Cup. Woot is ready for this step. I am convinced of this. He has the qualities to make an impact at United.

United’s journey began on Wednesday with their 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace. He started up front alongside Marcus Rashford and Anthony and played 69 minutes at Selhurst Park, meaning he saw Michael Oliz equalize in stoppage time from the bench. United manager Erik ten Hag, who grew up in Haaksbergen, about 12.5 miles from Bourne, wants Weghorst to be a real threat and has been pleased with the striker’s debut, admiring his play with midfielder Bruno Fernandes and his ability to take out defenders. provisions.

But this was not always the case with him. “You didn’t immediately think that Wut Weghorst would make it to professional football. But he believed in himself and worked hard for it,” Gerard Bos, who gave Weghorst his NEO debut, told Sportzshala. He was not the most technically proficient player, his teenage growth spurt barely helped his mind and body stay in tune, and there were few people at the club who praised him for his greatness, and scouts constantly overlooked him. Despite this, he continued to succeed and embarrass doubters.

Youth coach Jurgen Brüggemann worked with the very young Weghorst at C1 (under 15) and D1 (under 13) levels. He recalls that during one of his trips abroad, Weghorst’s comrades took advantage of the situation by staying late. “It was something Wout couldn’t get over, it took time to teach him that it’s not always about winning,” Bruggeman told Sportzshala.

Brüggemann often sat in the club’s boardroom talking to Weghorst about his development. Each season, the club asked the players to write a self-assessment. “Wow, he never gave it up,” he says. “His article is missing from the yearbook. Two months later, I received a letter from Wut apologizing. This is also Woot. There are people in his heart.”

Bos adds: “He was an unparalleled winner at a young age.” He recalls that when Weghorst was training with the first team at the age of 15, club pros Niels Oude Kamphius and Dmitry Shukov often tried to put Weghorst in his place in training, but he kept bouncing back.

“Wut is a pain in the ass on the field for his opponent,” says Bos. “Not everyone appreciates it. But he was like that even when he was young. He always had a desire to succeed in the football world. It got to the point where it annoyed people. an arrogant player on the field, but this is only visible when he plays football. Off the field, he is not an arrogant person at all.”

At the age of 19, Weghorst joined minor league team DETO Twenterand, and after switching to the Willem II system, he was picked up by Dutch second division team Emmen in 2012. Two years later, it was signed by Hercules Almelo of the Eredivisie. Even as one of the youngest in the squad, he didn’t have much of a filter.

“Sometimes he went upstream,” Jeroen Veldmathe, a teammate at Hercules, tells Sportzshala. “I remember at one training session, when we ran into each other, he said to me: “Can’t you already cope with the level?” He had just come from a second division club where he was sitting on the bench. But his desire for self-improvement was not normal. He asked the coach what his plan was to make Wut better. He is not afraid of anything, and I have great respect for him.”

On 13 September 2014, he scored his first Eredivisie goal when Hercules lost 2-1 to Ajax. Although they lost, he has the date tattooed on his body when he fulfilled his dream of scoring a goal in the Dutch top flight. Two years later, AZ Alkmaar signed him for around 1.5 million euros and he continued to plague the net.

To take his mind off football, he took long walks with a man he befriended at a local nursing home. He loves peace and quiet, and also finds solace in his faith, traces of which are engraved on his body. “It’s actually three tattoos: the church, the hands with the rosary and the text,” he told Helden Online. “I know the text by heart, I wrote it myself. It’s about who I am, that not everyone is perfect.”

But he is a man of contrasts; despite the part of him that yearns for peace and quiet, one story from AZ is that he rarely left the training field without going beyond his limits, even to the point of throwing up. “I learned from my upbringing that you have to work very hard for what you want,” Weghorst told Sportzshala in 2019.

He made his debut in the Netherlands under Ronald Koeman in March 2018, and three months later Bundesliga club Wolfsburg signed him for €10.5m. The money from this transfer flowed back to his local club NEO due to various clauses in the original contract. “When Wout first played for AZ, the amounts were lower than Wolfsburg or Burnley, but we said right away that we would use this for the future of the club,” NEO treasurer Wim Gurman told Sportzshala. Wolfsburg and Burnley’s moves have provided the club with funds to install LED lighting and solar panels, as well as renovate the canteen.

NEO received another payment when Weghorst signed for Burnley in January 2022 for €14 million. But he struggled in the Premier League, scoring just two goals in 20 appearances, and went on loan to Besiktas after Burnley’s relegation. Fans in Istanbul loved him and he responded by scoring six goals in 13 games and playing for the Netherlands in the World Cup. There he attracted attention with his two goals against Argentina and the way he quickly dealt with his famous rivals. The equalizer in the 97th minute in that quarter-final was achieved thanks to a clever free-kick scheme that he invented at AZ and then applied at Wolfsburg and Besiktas.

Although their campaign ended in heartbreak in the quarter-finals, his performances caught the attention of United, who made contact in late December. “He was good enough to play at a high level, but I never thought he would get to that level,” says Brüggemann. “The fact that he did it… well, he owes it all to himself.”

Following in the footsteps of Van Nistelrooy and Robin van Persie, Weghorst became the latest Dutch striker to play for United, making his debut on a frosty Wednesday night in south London.

“We’re very proud,” his brother Ralph told Sportzshala. “Perhaps the World Cup also helped. He once again broke through his ceiling. Nobody expected this. He will again try to silence many critics. Woot just keeps going. This is strange”.

Additional reporting: Sportzshala.NL command