Sneijder snubbed for Netherlands friendly
AMSTERDAM (AP) — Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has left Galatasaray midfielder Wesley Sneijder out of the squad for next week’s friendly against Portugal, though he said Friday that the player has the talent to return when he’s fit.
Van Gaal last month demoted Sneijder from his job as team captain, saying he wasn’t in sufficiently good shape. Manchester United striker Robin van Persie is the new Oranje captain for the Aug. 14 match.
Sneijder has complained that the coach didn’t call him to tell him he was being left off the preliminary roster last month.
“I have the idea he doesn’t get it,” Van Gaal said when asked about those remarks at a news conference.
“Sneijder has to get fit first, and then get in form, he’s got to focus himself on that,” the coach said. “Then, with his talent, he’ll probably play.”
In other notable changes, Van Gaal called up Augsburg defender Paul Verhaeg for the first time. Ajax captain Siem de Jong was in Van Gaal’s preliminary selection but didn’t make the final cut.
Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Kenneth Vermeer (Ajax), Michel Vorm (Swansea City)
Defenders: Daley Blind (Ajax), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord), Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Joris Mathijsen (Feyenoord), Paul Verhaegh (Augsburg), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Stefan de Vrij (Feyenoord)
Midfielders: Marco van Ginkel (Chelsea), Jonathan de Guzman (Swansea City), Kevin Strootman (AS Roma), Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburger SV), Stijn Schaars (PSV), Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV)
Strikers: Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke), Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce), Jeremain Lens (Dynamo Kiev), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Ruben Schaken (Feyenoord).