Van Persie replaces Sneijder as new Dutch captain

The Hague, June 8 (IANS) Robin van Persie has replaced Wesley Sneijder as permanent first captain, Dutch head coach Louis van Gaal said.

Van Gaal informed the Dutch media about the change in captaincy after the friendly match against Indonesia in Jakarta, Friday.

When Louis van Gaal started his second term as head coach he appointed Sneijder as first captain, Dirk Kuyt as second and Kevin Strootman as third. However, Sneijder was not playing at Inter in the first half of the season and was not fit during the second half at his new club Galatasaray.

"When I was appointed last year I had all the confidence in Sneijder," Van Gaal told Dutch TV channel SBS6. "Now I have that in Van Persie. Sneijder has not been fit for a whole year. He should focus on his own fitness first."

Sneijder was only able to wear the captain's armband during four matches in the past year. Van Persie wore the band for the first time in Jakarta.

The Netherlands beat Indonesia 3-0 through two goals by Siem de Jong and one by Arjen Robben, Friday. The Dutch team will fly to China Saturday for next Tuesday's friendly in Beijing.

"The coach asked me last Monday," Van Persie told Dutch TV channel SBS6. "I felt very flattered and really wanted to do it. I felt very honored. Yes, it is intended that I stay captain."


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