The Dutch midfielder returned to the pitch after 32 months of inactivity in PSV’s last outing in the Eredivisie
Chelsea Outcast Marco van Ginkel made his first senior appearance since 2018 after going through hell of injuries that threatened to end his career prematurely.
Van Ginkel was considered one of the brightest young talents in European football when Chelsea kidnapped him from Vitesse for £ 8million eight years ago.
Sadly, the Dutchman has only made four senior appearances for the Blues since then, with his last departure for the club in 2014 – when Jose Mourinho was still in charge at Stamford Bridge.
The 28-year-old is currently in the middle of his third loan spell at Philips Stadion in Eindhoven, but has spent the past 32 months on the sidelines recovering from surgery to reconstruct ligaments in his knee.
The loaned Blues, whose current contract at Bridge will expire at the end of the season, finally made his long-awaited return to the pitch on Wednesday, coming off the bench in PSV’s 3-1 home loss to AZ.
Van Ginkel expressed his joy after the final whistle, saying OUR: “It’s been a long time, so I’m proud of my first few minutes. I’ve been away for so long, I’ve had a lot of surgeries, I’ve had a lot of surgeries. No football so I’m happy to finally be back.
“Of course it was a very difficult time. I had a lot of positive moments, but maybe even more negative ones. It was really difficult, both emotionally and mentally. There was a lot going on in my head. .
“So it’s great to be back on the pitch, even if it’s only for a few minutes and with a disappointing team loss.
Marco van Ginkel played for PSV tonight, his first game in 32 months after a long injury hiatus.
Congratulations and welcome back, Marco! 💪 pic.twitter.com/IY8jrzZ6pP
– Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 13, 2021
“I’m sure my family is thrilled too. They were so supportive. Unfortunately they couldn’t be in the stadium today due to the circumstances. But I’m sure everyone was watching the game on TV, as they did. last week against Ajax (when he was in the squad selection for the first time).
“My moment wasn’t right then, so I’m glad it happened today. My cell phone was already full of messages. It’s great to feel so much support. Now we have to see what will follow.
“I’ve been in full training for 2 or 3 weeks now and haven’t missed a single exercise. I don’t know if I can play a full game anytime soon, but I want more after these few minutes.
“I will continue to work hard to make this possible, but now I will probably have a drink with my girlfriend to celebrate this moment.
“My return is a big reward for my dedication. I’m finally a footballer again. Great.”
The midfielder could be set to feature again when PSV travel to Sparta Rotterdam on Saturday, with Roger Schmidt’s side currently sitting in fourth place in the Eredivisie table.