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Fri Apr 25 04:40:02 SAST 2014

Dutch captain Van Bommel quits internationals

Reuters | 20 June, 2012 16:350 Comments
Netherlands v Germany - Group B: UEFA EURO 2012
Mark van Bommel of Netherlands is shadowed by Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany during the UEFA EURO 2012 group B match between Netherlands and Germany at Metalist Stadium on June 13, 2012 in Kharkov, Ukraine
Image by: Julian Finney / Getty Images

Netherlands captain Mark van Bommel has retired from international football following the team’s early elimination from Euro 2012, the Dutch football association said on its website (www.knvb.nl) on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old midfielder said it was time to make way for the next generation after the team lost all three group matches at the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

“I don’t want to retire,” Van Bommel said. “Maybe there will a moment that the coach needs me in the future and then I will be available but for now it is time for talented young players.”

Van Bommel made his Netherlands debut in 2000 and won 79 caps, playing in two World Cups and one European Championship.

After helping the team reach the last 16 at the 2006 World Cup the midfielder announced that he would not be available for the national side as long Marco van Basten was coach.

But after Van Basten stepped down following Euro 2008, Van Bommel returned under new coach Bert van Marwijk, who is also his father-in-law, and he played a key role in helping the Dutch reach the 2010 World Cup final.

Van Bommel has joined PSV Eindhoven for next season after a seven-year stint abroad playing for Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AC Milan.

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