Netherlands axe 2014 World Cup captain Van Persie as Blind eyes fresh options

Wednesday, 4 November 2015 00:09 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

van Persie of the Netherlands falls during the match against Czech Republic during their Euro 2016 group A qualifying soccer match in Amsterdam


Reuters: The Netherlands have left striker Robin van Persie out of their squad for this month’s friendlies against Wales and Germany after they failed to qualify for Euro 2016.

The 32-year-old, who captained the Dutch to third place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, has been overlooked by coach Danny Blind, who is not convinced about his form with Fenerbahce.

“I don’t think he is playing well enough and I want to give others a chance,” Blind told reporters when naming his squad on Monday, before adding that the door was still open for the Netherlands’ all-time leading scorer.

Blind, who has had to leave out injured Manchester United forward Memphis Depay, also revealed that he tried to coax 35-year-old Dirk Kuyt out of retirement but the Feyenoord forward said he would only return if he was guaranteed a starting place.

New to the squad is Kuyt’s club mate Marko Vejinovic, a midfielder of Bosnian descent who was born in Amsterdam.

The Netherlands are providing opposition for Euro 2016 qualifiers Wales in Cardiff on Nov. 13 and Germany four days later in Hanover, having finished a disappointing fourth in their qualifying group to miss out on the finals in France.