Ruud van Nistelrooy has admitted he was shocked to be dropped from the Dutch squad for this week’s friendly international with Republic of Ireland.
Real Madrid’s new acquisition was left out of Marco van Basten’s squad for the visit to Dublin.
Ajax forward Klaas Jan Huntelaar took his place, and van Nistelrooy admits he unhappy at being excluded.
“I was unpleasantly surprised,” said van Nistelrooy. “It’s obvious Van Basten prefers to continue with young players.
“In this group, only goalie Edwin van der Sar is older. At the moment, I can live with this choice.”
Van Basten has defended his decision to omit several experienced players from his squad.
“At this point, we think these players are better,” said van Basten.
“Now that we have started our preparation for the European Championship, we have again chosen 18 players in whom we have the most faith.
“For the time being, we want to continue with this group. They will have an opportunity to convince us.
“Huntelaar is progressing steadily. He had a good season with Ajax, won the Under-21 tournament and now he keeps on scoring in international matches.”