Memphis matches Cruyff as stunning start to the season continues

Robin Bairner
Memphis Depay celebrates scoring for Barcelona in La Liga

Memphis Depay has hit the ground running at Barcelona, with the Netherlands star one of Europe’s in-form strikers at present.

After impressing in friendly matches with the Camp Nou side following his move to the club on a free transfer from Lyon, Memphis has scored two goals and set up another in the club’s first three fixtures in La Liga.

He has continued that form with the Netherlands into the international break, netting a hat-trick against Turkey on Tuesday. That treble took him level with Johan Cruyff in the Netherlands’ all-time scoring charges with 33 goals.

Memphis is now in his country’s leading 10 scorers of all-time, moving up to eighth off the back of the midweek goals. Ruud van Nistelrooy (35), Arjen Robben (37) and Dennis Bergkamp (37) are just three of the players currently in his sights, with even Robin van Persie’s record of 50 not so far off.

In total, Memphis has seven goals in six appearances this season and has also contributed with two further assists.

“For me, it’s great to be in the top 10 and now I’ll try to get to the top three,” Memphis explained after the match.

When asked how it felt to match Cruyff and Abe Lenstra, a legendary player in the 1940s and 50s, Depay replied: “They are two legendary players, you can’t compare anyone else to them.”

Netherlands' leading scorers

Robin van Persie50
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar42
Patrick Kluivert40
Dennis Bergkamp37
Arjen Robben37
Faas Wilkes35
Ruud van Nistelrooy35
Johan Cruyff33
Abe Lenstra33

Meanwhile, Memphis also admitted that he felt he was surpassed in the Turkey may by midfielder Davey Klaassen.

“He was great – he was the best man on the pitch,” the Barcelona star said. “I also loved Stefan de Vrij and Virgil van Dijk.”

Memphis will return to Barcelona following international duty with a clash against Bayern Munich next Tuesday in the Champions League next on the agenda. Following that match, the Catalans have a double header the following week, with Granada on Monday and Cadiz on Thursday in La Liga.