HOLLAND keeper Andries Noppert has had an astonishing journey in football.
The 28-year-old Dutchman started his country’s opening World Cup game against Senegal on Monday.
Andries Noppert’s story to international level is a remarkable one[/caption]
His family urged him to pack football in when he was without a club[/caption]
It is a remarkable turnaround in his career less than 18 months after he was treading water without a club.
Noppert is now thriving at local Eredivisie side Heerenveen, but failed to make an appearance during his first spell with them and departed in 2014.
He moved to NAC Breda but made just six league appearances in four years for the Dutch outfit.
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Following a lengthy period of inactivity, he then joined Serie B team Foggia.
However, things really did not work out when he arrived there.
The club were relegated from the Italian second tier and then refused entry into Serie C.
Foggia were eventually made defunct at the end of the 2018/19 season.
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Noppert returned to Holland three years ago and signed for FC Dordrecht.
But he was released after just one year and subsequently remained without a club until July 2021.
It was at this point that his wife and family attempted to convince him to retire from football and join the police force.
But the 6ft 8in keeper refused to do so and he eventually put pen to paper on a deal with Go Ahead Eagles in January.
Noppert helped them to avoid relegation and then secured a move back to Heerenveen.
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He was then called up to the national team in September and now seems to be Van Gaal’s first choice in between the sticks.
That is despite him having made just 52 APPEARANCES in his entire professional career.
Noppert is now Holland’s No1 for the World Cup[/caption]
It is a remarkable turnaround in his career prospects[/caption]