Holland coach Marco van Basten has ruled Arsenal’s Robin van Persie out of their Euro 2008 opening game against Italy on Monday.
The Arsenal striker’s has been recovering from a thigh injury, but van Basten will not risk him.
The Dutch coach said: “His condition is improving from day to day, but it is logical that there is still some improvement to come.
“He has a lot of catching up to do and the Italy match will be too early.
“Physically he is okay now, but he needs to be back to his old self as soon as possible.
“He can do this quickly because he wasn’t out for a very long time.”
Van Persie, however, has not given up hope of playing in the opener, saying: “I understand that I lack match practice but I still hope I can start against Italy.”