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Dutch star Strootman certain to miss World Cup

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Dutch star Strootman certain to miss World Cup

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In this Nov. 19, 2013 image Netherlands' Kevin Strootman lines up prior to the international friendly soccer match between Netherlands and Colombia at ArenA stadium in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In a severe blow to Dutch World Cup hopes, Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal said Monday March 10, 2014, that midfielder Kevin Strootman will miss the tournament after suffering a serious knee injury over the weekend playing for his club AS Roma. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

AMSTERDAM (AP) -- In a blow to the Netherlands' World Cup hopes, midfielder Kevin Strootman appears certain to miss the tournament because of a serious knee injury.

AS Roma said Monday the 24-year-old will undergo surgery after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and possibly damaging the meniscus in his left knee during Sunday's 1-0 loss at Napoli.

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal said in a statement he talked to the injured midfielder by phone.

''I can imagine his world is falling apart at the moment,'' Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal said in a statement, adding that Strootman's loss ''is also a blood-letting for the Netherlands team.''

A left-footed player and strong tackler, Strootman has three goals in 25 international appearances and has captained the national team.

''Kevin played a major role in our qualification for the World Cup in Brazil,'' Van Gaal said.

The 2010 runners-up play defending champion Spain, Chile and Australia in the first round

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