• Thursday, 13 May 2010

    Van Nistelrooy retires after omission

    Bert van Marwijk's initial World Cup squad left out veteran striker Ruud van Nistelrooy and the Hamburg star immediately called time on his international career. Van Nistelrooy made the move to Germany from Real Madrid in order to get goals and push him to the front of Van Marwijk's thinking, but it hasn't worked. Anyone who is omitted in favour of Liverpool misfit Ryan Babel will no doubt have similar thoughts.

    There's no return for Edwin van der Sar and goalkeeping looks well covered by Maarten Stekeleberg, Sander Boschker and Michel Vorm. Gio van Bronckhorst is in, but will retire from international football once the Dutch are no longer involved in South Africa. Edson Braafheid makes the cut despite failing to impress at Bayern before being farmed out to Celtic on loan. He's done enough in Scotland to keep his place.

    Up front looks an area where the Netherlands may struggle. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is in despite once again failing to impress at Milan, Dirk Kuyt's work ethic sees him involved, but the bulk of the firepower comes from Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben.

    The squad in full:

    Goalkeepers: Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Sander Boschker (Twente), Michel Vorm (Utrecht)

    Defenders: Vurnon Anita (Ajax), Khalid Boulahrouz (Stuttgart), Edson Braafheid (Celtic), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), John Heitinga (Everton), Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax), Andre Ooijer (PSV)

    Midfielders: Otman Bakkal (PSV), Mark van Bommel (Bayern), Wout Brama (Twente), Orlando Engelaar (PSV), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), David Mendes da Silva (AZ), Stijn Schaars (AZ), Wesley Sneijder (Internazionale), Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid), Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax), Ibrahim Afellay (PSV)

    Forwards: Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Jeremain Lens (AZ), Eljero Elia (Hamburg), Ryan Babel (Liverpool), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Arjen Robben (Bayern).

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