Ruud van Nistelrooy has announced his retirement from international football.
“After studying the schedule of Madrid and the Dutch team I realised playing for both would mean too tough a load for me,” said the Real Madrid striker. “I’m taking no chances and after the enjoyable Euro 2008 finals I can look back upon (my decision) with a good feeling.”
Van Nistelrooy, 32, won the first of his 64 caps in 1998 and is the team’s third highest all-time scorer with 33 goals.
His decision came as a surprise to new national team coach Bert van Marwijk, who succeeded Marco van Basten as national team coach on 1 July.
“I had a comprehensive conversation with Ruud and I can do nothing else but respect his decision,” said van Marwijk.
“I regret it that I can’t use his quality and experience when I compose my squad but I wish him all the best at Real Madrid.”
Van Nistelrooy had a fractured relationship with Van Basten, who dropped the striker for the 2006 World Cup second round defeat by Portugal.
Van Basten then left Van Nistelrooy out of his initial squad for the Euro 2008 qualifiers but, forced by injuries, invited him back in October 2006, a call the striker refused.
However, in August 2007 the pair resolved their diffrences and the striker returned to score two goals in the qualifying campaign.
Holland face Scotland, Norway, Macedonia and Iceland in World Cup qualifying Group 9.