Source of this article
Date posted: 08-04-2023 20:03:00
In a new section called VP’s Adventurers, VoetbalPrimeur speaks with a well-known football player in the Netherlands who is active outside the country’s borders.
text: Dennie van Laar
How are things going in different corners of the world, both on a football and human level? It will all pass. With in this episode: Vito Wormgoor, player of the Norwegian IK Start.
The 34-year-old Wormgoor has already been through a lot in his career. The stopper played in the Netherlands until the summer of 2016, when he switched from ADO Den Haag to Aalesunds FK from Norway. The Dutchman quickly felt at home in the Scandinavian country. Wormgoor also made a special trip to the United States between 2020 and 2022, but he has now returned to Norway. With IK Start he is now chasing promotion to the highest level.
“You can’t put a lot of money aside here”
The former youth international admits that his current homeland has a special place in his heart. “It’s beautiful. You can make a painting here every hundred meters, so to speak. Things are very different here. In the Netherlands, everyone seems to hurry and have a routine of sleeping, working, eating and sleeping again. People are a bit more free here. Nature also plays a role in that. I noticed that quickly and I liked it. When you arrive in Norway and get off the plane, there is immediately a certain peace. I recommend a lot football players to take on the adventure here Norway and enjoy the country.”
It is common knowledge that living in Norway is expensive. Wormgoor also experienced that. “You can’t put aside a lot of money here. Particularly because of the war in Ukraine, prices in Norway are high. They don’t grow vegetables themselves in Norway, for example. If you go to the supermarket here, all vegetable products say : Made in Holland.”
American Dream with a striking Disney twist
Wormgoor also received other foreign offers during his career. When he moved to the United States three years ago, a move to South Korea was also an option. “That was certainly not wrong. That involved bizarre amounts. But then I started sparring with my wife and kids, who were at home in the Netherlands. I had to respond to my agent within two days and at one point I burst into the bank tears. I thought: what should I do now, dude? The offer was good, but can the kids settle there? The transition to that language and culture seemed like too big a step. I can’t do this to them, I thought Fortunately, Columbus Crew came along. That was really a dream come true for me, while my wife also really liked it.”
“America is of course not next door either, but to be honest it felt that way. Everything is of course in English and we were taken care of very well. We met so many beautiful people there, also outside football. That is incredible. We have Made friends for life there.” Shortly after the transfer of the defender born in Leersum, however, the world was ravaged by the corona virus. As a result, the MLS was temporarily suspended, after which the competition resumed at a very striking location: Disney World, where the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is also located.
“We had to stay there for a month,” says Wormgoor, who was not really happy there. “With the MLS players’ council, we also had to vote several times: do you want to continue with the tournament at Disney? I voted no four times. It looked like a prison there. In addition, I was also unlucky myself: the first game that we played there was delayed for hours by a big storm and once we started, after thirteen minutes I broke everything I could break. It can never be normal with me, something always happens. Now I walk around with a broken nose, for example .”
When Wormgoor returned to Norway after two years, he had to turn the switch again. Life in the Scandinavian country is logically very different from the US. “It’s not that the Norwegian people are very grumpy, but they are more to themselves. So in America I met a lot of beautiful people, but strangers there also address you as if you are their friend, while you just go to the supermarket When I experienced that, I thought: whoa, what is this? It also had its charm, but at a certain point it would have been nice. Let me just buy my milk.”
Fight duels with Haaland, Higuaín, Nani and Pato
Through his football journey, the stopper from Leersum has come into contact with many big names. “The opponents that passed in the MLS were not normal. I played against Higuaín, Nani and Alexandre Pato. I myself shared the dressing room with players like Lucas Zelarayan, Gyasi Zardes and Eloy Room. We had a really good team and that year we are champion for a reason.”
When Wormgoor talks about players he played against in Norway, Erling Haaland’s name quickly comes to mind. “When I played at Brann, we had to play against Molde at home. There, a seventeen-year-old Haaland was in the striker. That beautiful madman scored four times in twenty minutes… We eventually started 0-5. My father said after the game against me: a seventeen-year-old striker scores four times against you, Vito. You better stop. Then I said, Dad, listen, this boy is going to be the best striker in the world.”
‘I would like to go back to the Netherlands’
The veteran is now in the autumn of his career. “But I’m still in my twenties in terms of fitness,” he says with a laugh. “I sometimes have a break here and there, but I feel really good. I’m almost starting my last year at IK Start. It’s a project and we’re on the right track here. Now we have to force promotion. I hope that way I can say goodbye to Norway. A return to the Netherlands may be in the offing. I would like that, because the children are also growing up. The oldest is eleven and has to go to secondary school next year. “
“I think that after this year I want to continue playing football for another two years. I think that with my leadership qualities and experience I can be of value to many Eredivisie teams. And when I stop playing football, I think I want to be a trainer I want to make boys better and help young talents. I think that would be fantastic to do after my career. Otherwise I will miss the world,” concludes Wormgoor.