Bert van Marwijk feels that FC Porto and Liverpool will provide his team with stern tests at the Port of Rotterdam Tournament, which starts Friday. ‘This is a good and important time play against strong European opponents. An additional advantage is that we are playing against opponents that employ different styles,’ said the Feyenoord coach at the packed pre-tournament press conference.

Van Marwijk was flanked at the press call by his captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst and the coaches and one player from the other three clubs in the tournament. Van Bronckhorst himself admitted to being delighted with the opportunity the Port of Rotterdam Tournament provides. ‘It’s a good test. We are playing against two clubs that have won European prizes. Matches at this level will help us move forward.’

The tournament comes at just the right time for Liverpool too. Kuyt was joined at the press conference by assistant coach Alex Miller, who confirmed that hypothesis. ‘We are almost at the end of preseason, so it’s extra important. We haven’t started well in the league these past two years. It is now vital that we come out of the starting blocks strongly. Hopefully the tournament will help us do that.’

One of the main points of the conference was the collective satisfaction with respect to the tournament itself. FC Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira stressed that it was an honour to take part. Ferreira was then asked about his club’s scouting system and the sporting success that it has generated. ‘Portugal is close to the South American mentality. We have good relations and are able to attract good players. Given the small difference in culture it is then easier to integrate a player in a team than it would be for many other European teams.’

The only non-European participant is Shanghai Shenhua FC and that adds to the occasion in the opinion of coach Osvaldo Giminez. ‘Chinese football is a sleeping giant that is now waking up. Hopefully we can show our best side here.’

Pieter Struijs of Port of Rotterdam Authority joined the players and coaches. The COO explained the reasoning behind the tournament. ‘We asked ourselves what we could do for our friends. Feyenoord and the Port of Rotterdam radiate quality. A partnership has produced this result, whereby we can invite two times fifty thousand people over two days and highlight our ties with the other ports. As sponsor we are hoping for a successful tournament and a deserved winner.’

Feyenoord Business CLub