There was no place for Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy in Marco van Basten’s Holland’s squad for the Euro 2008 qualifiers next week against Bulgaria and Albania.
Out-of-favour van Nistelrooy this week criticised the national coach, but Van Basten hit back insisting he was “a man of honour and integrity” who was not influenced by personal feelings about players when selecting.
“I understand that Ruud is disappointed but he should have reacted differently. He could have phoned me,” said van Basten. “It’s disappointing to call my integrity into question.
“On the other hand I was a player myself and know that sometimes you can react emotionally, in anger.
“I want to reassure Ruud I still consider him a dangerous striker. But if I prefer Klas-Jan Huntelaar it’s because I’m giving preference to strikers who are technically adept at keeping the ball on the ground.”
There was a recall for Bayern Munich midfielder Mark van Bommel, who was left out of the previous two qualifiers against Luxembourg and Belarus.
Goalkeepers: Henk Timmer (Feyenoord), Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United/ENG)
Defenders: Urby Emanuelson, John Heitinga (both Ajax), Tim de Cler, Kew Jaliens (both AZ Alkmaar), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Barcelona), Andre Ooijer (Blackburn Rovers), Khalid Boulahrouz (Chelsea), Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg)
Midfielders: Wesley Sneijder (Ajax), Stijn Schaars, Demy de Zeeuw (both AZ Alkmaar), Nigel de Jong (Hamburg), Denny Landzaat (Wigan Athletic), Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich)
Strikers: Ryan Babel, Klaas Jan Huntelaar (both Ajax), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Arjen Robben (Chelsea), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (Celtic)