Soccer-World-Netherlands penpix of likely squad for World Cup finals


By Mark Gleeson

April 28 (Reuters) - Netherlands squad for the World Cup finals is likely to comprise the following 23 players:


Jasper Cillessen (Ajax Amsterdam) Age 25; 5 caps. At beginning of the season was second choice at his club but has taken back the goalkeeping berth from Kenneth Vermeer. Made his breakthrough at NEC Nijmegen before moving to Ajax in 2011.

Tim Krul (Newcastle United) Age: 26; 5 caps. A prodigy at home town club ADO Den Haag, Krul moved to Newcastle as a teenager. Took over from Steve Harper in goal some four years after joining the club. Made a dream international debut against Brazil and was an unused squad member at Euro 2012.

Michel Vorm (Swansea City) Age 30; 14 caps. Injury-prone goalkeeper who moved to Swansea from FC Utrecht in 2011 and despite conceding four goals on debut, made a considerable impression in his first season. Back-up to Maarten Stekelenburg at the 2010 World Cup squad.


Daley Blind (Ajax Amsterdam) Age 24; 9 caps. His father Danny is assistant to coach Louis van Gaal and will take over as national team coach after Euro 2016. Hard tackling left back who has been moved into a position as a defensive midfielder at Ajax. Made his international debut in a friendly against Italy last year.

Stefan de Vrij (Feyenoord) Age 22; 9 caps. Product of the junior system at Feyenoord, which he joined aged 10, he is now the club captain with over 100 appearances since 2009. Made his international debut in Van Gaal's first match back in charge against Belgium in August 2012.

Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord) Age 24; 13 caps. Right back who played in relative anonymity at ADO Den Haag and Heerenveen before returning to Feyenoord, where he was in the youth team, on a free transfer.

Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord) Age 22; 13 caps. Born in Portugal to parents originally from the west African country of Guinea Bissau but was less than a year old when the family moved to Holland. Graduate of the Dutch Under-17 side from the 2009 world championships who says he prefers playing central defender to his usual position at left back. Scored twice in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa) Age 29; 22 caps. Influential presence for his English club in two successive campaigns. Commanding central defender who was a cult hero at Feyenoord before his 2012 move to England. Marco van Basten handed him his first cap in 2005 but he missed the cut for the 2010 World Cup.

Joel Veltman (Ajax Amsterdam) Age 21; 1 cap. Debut in a November friendly against Colombia in just his second season in the professional ranks. Has come through all the Dutch junior teams and been on the books at Ajax since he was nine. Sent off in the Champions League against Barcelona in November.

Gregory van der Wiel (Paris St Germain) Age 26; 37 caps. Usually the first choice right back but his position is under threat because of a spell out with injury earlier in the year. Competed in the 2010 World Cup final but struggled with form at Euro-2012. A former winner of the Johan Cruyff prize as the best young player in the Netherlands, he came through the Ajax system and moved to PSG two years ago.


Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord) Age 22; 7 caps. Among the new players introduced to the Dutch set-up by Van Gaal when he took over in the second half of 2012. Has been labelled the 'Dutch Xavi' for his tenacity in the midfield, though earlier in his career he was criticised for his slight frame. Made his Netherlands debut against Turkey in a World Cup qualifier in September 2012 and featured in five games in all.

Nigel de Jong (AC Milan) Age 29; 69 caps. De Jong played for Netherlands in the World Cup final four years ago where he was lucky not to receive a red card for high challenge on Xabi Alonso having been red-carded in the quarter-finals. Now with AC Milan after previous spells with Ajax Amsterdam, Hamburg and Manchester City. Is the son of former Dutch international Jerry de Jong, also a defensive midfielder, and is of Suriname-Indonesian descent.

Davy Klaassen (Ajax Amsterdam) Age 21; 1 cap. Injury to club mate Siem de Jong might allow Klaassen a trip to Brazil after just one international appearance against France in March. He has become a regular at Ajax this season having started the campaign in the reserve side, but helped fill the void left by Christian Eriksen's departure to Tottenham Hotspur. Klaassen has represented the Dutch from under-16 level.

Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray) Age 29; 97 caps. Stripped of the captaincy of the Dutch side as Van Gaal questioned his fitness and looked set to dump him but has forced his way back. Started his career at Ajax Amsterdam, but also won league titles with Real Madrid and Inter Milan, as well as the Champions League with the latter. Won the "Silver Ball" as the second-best player of the World Cup in 2010 and was also the given the "Bronze Boot" as the third-highest scorer. Has scored 26 international goals.

Rafael van der Vaart (SV Hamburg) Age 31; 109 caps. Made his Netherlands debut as an 18-year-old having been hailed as the "new Johan Cruyff". Is currently in his second spell with Hamburg having also played for Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur. Has played at the last three European Championship finals and the last two World Cup tournaments and scored 25 times for his international side.

Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) Age 30; 73 caps. Denied by the outstretched leg of Iker Casillas from handing the Dutch the World Cup four years ago. Has won six league titles in England, Spain and Germany since 2005, and also the Champions League with Bayern Munich in 2013, where he scored the winning goal in the final against Borussia Dortmund. Has extreme pace and a rocket-like shot and scored 22 times for the Netherlands.

Stijn Schaars (PSV Eindhoven) Age 30; 23 caps. Returned to Netherlands after two seasons with Sporting Lisbon to sign for PSV Eindhoven at the start of the last campaign. His debut for the Dutch came in 2006 against Ireland, but did not feature for the next two years following an ankle injury. Was part of the squad for the 2010 World Cup but did not play.


Memphis Depay (PSV Eindhoven) Age 20; 4 caps. Precocious talent who has featured in each of the last four Dutch internationals. Depay's father is from Ghana but he is bound to the Netherlands after debuting in the last minute of the last World Cup qualifier in October. Renowned for his dribbling, which can be excessive and frustrating at times for coaches and teammates.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04) Age 30; 60 caps. Injury has kept him out of the side since last August's friendly against Portugal. Signed his first contract aged 10 with Go Ahead Eagles but moved to PSV at 17, where he was taught by Dutch football's all-time leading scorer Willy van der Kuijlen. Twice top scorer in the Dutch League with subsequent clubs Heerenveen and Ajax before spells at Real Madrid and AC Milan. Two years ago he was the top scorer in the Bundesliga after a move to Schalke but only returned to action in January after recovery from knee surgery.

Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce) Age 33; 98 caps. A regular in the Dutch squad over the last decade who has been to the two previous World Cups plus two Euro tournaments. His work ethic has kept him in the picture for almost 100 caps as he hurries up and down the right flank. A former Dutch Footballer of the Year in his time at Feyenoord, he scored the consolation goal for Liverpool in the 2007 Champions League final loss to Milan.

Jeremain Lens (Dynamo Kiev) Age 26; 16 caps. Right-sided player who moved to Ukraine last July on a four-year deal. He started in Ajax's junior section but went instead to AZ Alkmaar for his development. PSV Eindhoven signed him in 2010. His origins are in the former Dutch colony of Surinam, which borders north of Brazil.

Robin van Persie (Manchester United) Age 30; 82 caps. Scored 11 goals in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, breaking the overall Dutch scoring record in the process by taking his tally to 41 - exactly one goal every two games for his country. Captain of the national team since last year and enjoys a close relationship with coach Van Gaal. Controversially moved from Arsenal to Manchester United to win trophies and took the league in his first season but has suffered only disappointment and injury in the current campaign, the highlight being his hat-trick against Olympiakos Piraeus in the Champions League. (Editing by Michael Hann)

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