The Hague, Feb 2 (IANS) Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben were left out of the Netherlands squad for the friendly against Italy Wednesday in Amsterdam, Dutch coach Louis van Gaal announced.
Besides Sneijder (Galatasaray) and Robben (Bayern Munich) he also ignored experienced internationals like John Heitinga (Everton), Maarten Stekelenburg (AS Roma), Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburger SV) and Gregory van der Wiel (Paris Saint-Germain), reports Xinhua.
The absence of these players was no surprise, because they were also not included in the provisional squad. All just returned from injuries or haven't played much for their clubs.
"I was tempted to select Robben, but he does not play a lot," Van Gaal said at the press conference Friday.
Dutch captain Sneijder recently moved to Turkish side Galatasaray, but hasn't played for half a year for his previous employer Inter Milan.
Canadian born Jonathan de Guzman was selected for the first time. The 25-year-old midfielder, currently playing for Swansea City, used to play for Feyenoord and gained Dutch citizenship in 2008.
Ajax defender Daley Blind (22), the son of assistant Netherlands coach Danny Blind, was also named for the first time. Uncapped Ola John of Benfica received a call-up as well.
"They are in good form and are fit," Van Gaal explained the selection of this trio.
Goalkeepers: Kenneth Vermeer (Ajax), Michel Vorm (Swansea City), Tim Krul (Newcastle United).
Defenders: Daley Blind (Ajax), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord), Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Joris Mathijsen (Feyenoord), Ricardo van Rhijn (Ajax), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Stefan de Vrij (Feyenoord).
Midfielders: Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Marco van Ginkel (Vitesse), Jonathan de Guzman (Swansea City), Adam Maher (AZ), Kevin Strootman (PSV).
Forwards: Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Ola John (Benfica), Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce), Jeremain Lens (PSV), Robin van Persie (Manchester United).