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Penpix of the Netherlands World Cup squad

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May 29, 2006 18:10 IST

The Netherlands squad for the World Cup finals in Germany comprises the following 23 players:

(Statistics up to and including May 23 2006)


1-Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United, England) Born: 29.10.70 Caps: 107 Goals: 0

Undisputed first choice since 1995 when he made his debut a fortnight after winning the Champions League with Ajax Amsterdam. Became captain under coach Marco van Basten.

Moved to Fulham in 2001 after a disappointing two-year spell at Juventus and moved to Manchester United last year to solve Alex Ferguson's goalkeeping problems.

22-Henk Timmer (AZ Alkmaar) Born 3.12.71 Caps: 1 Goals: 0

Reliable stand-in who signed for AZ Alkmaar in 2000 after an 11-year spell at second division side PEC Zwolle. Became second goalkeeper and joined Feyenoord in 2001 then spent a year on loan with Ajax before returning to Alkmaar.

Made his debut in last November's friendly against Italy.

Lives with Marianne Timmer, double gold medal winner in speed skating at the 1998 Winter Olympics and Olympic champion over 1,000 metres.

23-Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax Amsterdam) Born 22.9.82 Caps: 1 Goals: 0

Talented goalkeeper from the Ajax youth scheme. Made his debut for Ajax in 2002 but played only 30 league matches in his first three years through injury problems. Made his debut for the Dutch team in September 2004 in a friendly against Liechtenstein. Became first choice at his club when Danny Blind took over from Ronald Koeman last season.


3-Khalid Boulahrouz (SV Hamburg, Germany) Born: 28.12.81 Caps: 10 goals: 0

Fearless defender who turned professional in 2001 and broke through under Martin Jol at RKC Waalwijk. Also played full back and striker but earned a transfer to Hamburg in 2004 as a central defender. Impressed during his first season in the Bundesliga and was nicknamed 'The Cannibal'.

5-Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Barcelona, Spain) Born: 5.2.75 Caps: 55 Goals: 3

Was added to the Dutch squad by Guus Hiddink directly after Euro 96 as left-sided midfielder. Started his career at Feyenoord and joined Arsenal in 2001, after a three-year spell at Glasgow Rangers. Missed a year through cruciate knee ligament surgery in 2002 and joined Barcelona on loan in 2003, where he became a starter under former Dutch national coach Frank Rijkaard. The 2006 World Cup finals will be his fourth main tournament and second World Cup.

12-Jan Kromkamp (Liverpool, England) Born: 17.8.80 Caps: 8 goals: 0

Attacking full back who started his professional career in the second division at Go Ahead Eagles. Signed for AZ Alkmaar in 2000 and made his debut for the national team in Marco van Basten's first match against Sweden. Impressed during Alkmaar's UEFA Cup campaign last season and signed for Villareal last year before another move to Liverpool during the winter transfer window.

13-Andre Ooijer (PSV Eindhoven) Born: 11.7.74 Caps: 17 Goals: 2

Started his career as a midfielder but is now an established centre-back or right-sided defender at PSV where he has been a fixture for the last nine years. Never quite established himself in the international side though and will be hoping to do so at the finals.

14-Johnny Heitinga (Ajax Amsterdam) Born: 15.11.83 Caps: 16 Goals: 1

Versatile defender who made his debut at the age of 17 for Ajax and had an impressive comeback in 2003 after cruciate knee ligament surgery. Played three of the five matches during Euro 2004. Started his career as right wing back but was picked for this squad for a central position. Struggled with his form this season but fought back and made the squad at the end.

4-Joris Mathijsen (AZ Alkmaar) Born: 5.4.80 Caps: 6 Goals: 0

Started his professional career with Willem II Tilburg and signed for AZ Alkmaar in 2004 after six seasons. Impressed during his first season at Alkmaar when he became a regular in the Dutch squad. Tore knee tendon during the UEFA Cup quarter-final against Villareal but is on his way back.

15-Tim de Cler (AZ Alkmaar) Born: 8.11.78 Caps: 2 Goals: 0

Attacking leftback who started his career at Ajax in 1998 but never convinced in a five-year spell. Signed for AZ Alkmaar in 2001 and made his international debut in a friendly international match against Germany last year. Back-up for first choice Van Bronckhorst.

2-Kew Jaliens (AZ Alkmaar) Born: 15.9.78 Caps: 1 Goals: 0.

Very good versatile defender who is likely to be used in an emergency but, surrounded by club mates, he will easily fit into the team if required.


8-Philip Cocu (PSV Eindhoven) Born: 29.10.70 Caps: 95 Goals: 10

Versatile late bloomer who made his international debut aged 25 two months before Euro 96. Played in the second match of that tournament against Scotland and has played in every Dutch match in final tournaments since then. Returned to PSV in 2004, after six years at Barcelona. Will end his international career after the World Cup.  

10-Rafael van der Vaart (SV Hamburg, Germany) Born: 11.2.83 Caps: 35 Goals: 6

Made his debut for Ajax at the age of 17 and was playing for the Netherlands a year later. Named as biggest talent in the country but was at a dead end last season in Amsterdam. Made an impressive revival in Hamburg and seems ready for his second main tournament. Will battle with Philip Cocu for the left midfield spot.

20-Wesley Sneijder (Ajax Amsterdam) Born: 9.6.84 Caps: 20 Goals: 5

Made his debut for Ajax and the Dutch team at 18. Despite a decisive role as the Dutch qualified for Euro 2004, played only 58 minutes in Portugal. Had a tough last season at Ajax after he clashed with coach Ronald Koeman. Is a regular in the Dutch squad but not in the picture as a starter.

18-Mark van Bommel (Barcelona, Spain) Born: 22.4.77 Caps: 35 Goals: 7

Attacking midfielder who made his debut directly after Euro 2000 under coach Louis van Gaal. Played his best match in a friendly against England in 2001 and scored a superb goal. Missed the Euro 2004 finals through injury. Crowned an excellent final season at PSV Eindhoven with a transfer to Barcelona last year but has failed to maintain that standard since and has lost his place in the Dutch starting lineup.  

16-Hedwiges Maduro (Ajax Amsterdam) Born: 13.2.85 Caps: 9 Goals: 0

Broke through at Ajax Amsterdam last season after Danny Blind took over from Ronald Koeman and almost immediately made his debut in the Dutch team against Romania in March. Defensive midfielder who also feels comfortable as a central defender.

6-Denny Landzaat (AZ Alkmaar) Born: 6.5.76 Caps: 20 Goals: 1

Developed through the youth scheme at Ajax but left the club in 1996 after one appearance. Made his debut for the Dutch team in 2001 under Louis van Gaal but was ignored by Dick Advocaat. First choice under Van Basten and played in 10 of the 12 World Cup qualifiers.


9-Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United, England) Born: 1.7.76 Caps: 49 Goals: 25  

Now the eighth highest scorer in Dutch international history and one of the best strikers in the world. Scored seven goals in the World Cup qualifying campaign and will play in the finals for the first time. Scored four goals at Euro 2004 and received a two-match ban after the lost semi-final for insulting referee Anders Frisk.

11-Arjen Robben (Chelsea, England) Born: 23.1.84 Caps: 18 Goals: 6

Sensational winger on his day but injury-prone. Signed for Chelsea in 2004 but missed a major part of his first season through injury. Scored the decisive penalty during the Euro 2004 quarterfinal shootout against Sweden.

17-Robin van Persie (Arsenal, England) Born: 6.8.83 Caps: 7 Goals: 1

Stylish product from the Feyenoord youth squad who joined Arsenal in 2004 and ended his turbulent first season in London spending two weeks in custody in Rotterdam on suspicion of rape charges which were later dropped.

Playing an increasingly influential role at Arsenal and has shown some truly devastating skill this season.

7-Dirk Kuijt (Feyenoord) Born 22.7.80 Caps: 16 Goals: 4

Central striker with 100 goals in his first seven first division seasons. Became a first choice as right winger under van Basten. Seems destined to move to the English Premier League after the finals.

21-Ryan Babel (Ajax Amsterdam) Born: 19.12.86 Caps: 4 Goals: 2

Talented young winger, who made his debut for Ajax Amsterdam aged just 17 and was in the Dutch team a year later. Has struggled with his form this season.

19-Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (PSV Eindhoven) Born: 7.11.78 Caps: 6 Goals: 0

The man with the longest name in football is a strong front runner who replaced Pierre van Hooijdonk in the squad. Made his debut five years ago under Louis van Gaal but was denied by his successor Dick Advocaat. Signed for PSV Eindhoven in 2001 after five seasons at Twente Enschede but lost his starting spot this season.

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