Pieters to miss Euro 2012 due to foot injury
The Hague, May 8 : The Netherlands will be without Erik Pieters at Euro 2012 after the PSV Eindhoven left-back received bad news on his foot injury.
Just three hours before the withdrawal of Pieters Monday, Dutch head coach Bert van Marwijk announced a provisional Euro 2012 squad of 36 players, including Pieters. As a replacement Van Marwijk called up 23-year-old Alexander Buttner of Vitesse Arnhem later.
Pieters (23) was the regular defender of the Dutch team after Giovanni van Bronckhorst retired post the 2010 World Cup final. The 14-time international injured his right foot in April during PSV's league match against RKC Waalwijk. Examination Monday showed he would not recover in time, after which he informed Van Marwijk.
The Dutch squad includes FC Barcelona's Ibrahim Afellay, who just returned from a lengthy injury layoff. Star players like Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar have all made Van Marwijk's provisional squad, too.
Van Marwijk named several youngsters without any caps, such as Stefan de Vrij (20), Jetro Willems (18), Nick Viergever (22), Adam Maher (18), Erwin Mulder (23) and Jasper Cilissen (23). Cilissen is second goalkeeper of Ajax, while first choice Kenneth Vermeer is not selected.
"Within the technical staff we closely discussed to achieve a group as balanced as possible," Van Marwijk was quoted as saying by Xinhua. "In this phase of the preparation we have to deal with the Dutch playoffs, foreign leagues and cup finals and the final of the Champions League."
"Furthermore, there are players coming back from injuries. That's partly the reason why I called up some talented players that we have been following for a while for this two-day training session. It's a great opportunity for these players to show themselves," he said.
The first squad meeting is May 14 and 15 in Hoenderloo where a group of players from the Dutch and German leagues without club obligations will gather. The group will be cut down to around 27 players when the Dutch team moves to Switzerland May 17 for another preparation camp. The definite group of 20 field players and 3 goalkeepers has to be announced before May 29.
The Netherlands have scheduled friendly games against Bayern Munich, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Northern Ireland before the start of Euro 2012. The Dutch start the tournament with the group match against Denmark June 9, before taking on Germany and Portugal.
Dutch provisional Euro 2012 squad:
Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Tim Krul (Newcastle United), Erwin Mulder (Feyenoord), Maarten Stekelenburg (AS Roma), Michel Vorm (Swansea City)
Defenders: Khalid Boulahrouz (VfB Stuttgart), Wilfred Bouma (PSV), John Heitinga (Everton), Joris Mathijsen (Malaga), Alexander Buttner (Vitesse), Nick Viergever (AZ), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord), Stefan de Vrij (Feyenoord), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax), Jetro Willems (PSV)
Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay (FC Barcelona), Vurnon Anita (Ajax), Mark van Bommel (AC Milan), Urby Emanuelson (AC Milan), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), Siem de Jong (Ajax), Hedwiges Maduro (Valencia), Adam Maher (AZ), Stijn Schaars (Sporting Portugal), Wesley Sneijder (Internazionale), Kevin Strootman (PSV), Rafael van der Vaart (Tottenham Hotspur), Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV)
Forwards: Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Ola John (FC Twente), Luuk de Jong (FC Twente), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Jeremain Lens (PSV), Luciano Narsingh (sc Heerenveen), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Arjen Robben