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Dutch squad

June 05, 2008 20:16 IST

Dutch squad penpix for Euro 2008:

Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United). Goalkeeper. Born 29.10.70. Caps 123. Goals 0.

Undisputed first choice since 1995, when he made his debut two weeks after winning the Champions League with Ajax Amsterdam and became captain under coach Marco van Basten.

This will be his sixth and final major tournament as he retires from international football after the finals. His first three ended with defeat in penalty shoot-outs - the lottery in which he triumphed in the 2008 Champions League final.

Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax Amsterdam). Goalkeeper. Born 22.9.82. Caps 11. Goals 0.

Stand-in for Edwin van der Sar. Deaf in one ear but an excellent penalty-stopper, saving all four spot-kicks Ajax conceded in the league this season. Made his Ajax debut in 2002, but injuries meant it was three years before he became first choice. Also works as trainer/coach in Ajax youth's set-up.

Henk Timmer (Feyenoord). Goalkeeper. Born 3.12.71. Caps 5. Goals 0.

Reliable stand-in who spent 11 years at second division side Zwolle before a series of spells at AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord.

Lives with Marianne Timmer, the same surnames a coincidence, who is a double gold medal winner speed skating at the 1998 Winter Olympics and reigning Olympic champion over 1,000 meters.

Tim de Cler (Feyenoord). Defender. Born 8.11.78. Caps 13. Goals 0.

Attacking left back who had five-year spells at Ajax Amsterdam and AZ Alkmaar before he signed Feyenoord in 2007 and won his first trophy in April this year clinching the Dutch Cup. Was set to sign for champions PSV Eindhoven before opting for Feyenoord, the club he has always supported.

Wilfred Bouma (Aston Villa). Defender. Born 15.6.78. Caps 33. Goals 2.

Versatile player who started as winger in the PSV Eindhoven youth ranks, but after playing in midfield ended up as a left back who is also used as a central defender. Loaned to MVV Maastricht and Fortuna Sittard before joining Villa in 2005.

Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg SV). Defender. Born 5.4.80. Caps 30. Goals 2.

Started out with Willem II Tilburg before signing for AZ Alkmaar in 2004. Impressed during his first season in Alkmaar and became a regular in the Dutch squad. Moved to Hamburg after the 2006 World Cup. Has been under fire from Dutch fans after some poor performances for the national side.

John Heitinga (Atletico Madrid). Defender. Born 15.11.83. Caps 34. Goals 5.

Versatile defender who came through the Ajax Amsterdam schoolboy and youth ranks, making his debut for them at 17 at arch rivals Feyenoord in 2001. Has just ended a 17-year association with them by agreeing a move to Atletico Madrid. Overcame two long-term knee injuries and has impressed for past two years. Voted best player of the Dutch league last season.

Andre Ooijer (Blackburn Rovers). Defender. Born 11.7.74. Caps 35. Goals 2.

Experienced defender who also came through the Ajax Amsterdam youth system, where he started as a midfielder. After spells at Volendam and Roda JC Kerkrade, he joined PSV Eindhoven in 1998. Won five championships with PSV before he moved to Blackburn Rovers in 2006 after the World Cup finals.

Married to the daughter of former Dutch international Willy van der Kerkhof, who played in the 1978 World Cup final.

Mario Melchiot (Wigan Athletic). Defender. Born 4.11.76. Caps 20. Goals 0.

Physically strong defender, who dreamt about a career as a policeman or owning his own fashion business before starting his professional career at Ajax Amsterdam. Joined Chelsea in 1999 and spent five years before moving on to Birmingham City, Stade Rennais in France and a return to England last year with Wigan.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord). Midfielder. Born 5.2.75. Caps 76. Goals 4.

Started as a left midfielder at Feyenoord after coming up through the youth ranks. Left in 1998 and after spells at Rangers and Arsenal he joined Barcelona in 2003. Won two titles with them and the 2006 Champions League.

Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburg SV). Midfielder. Born 11.2.83. Caps 53. Goals 10.

Made his Ajax debut at 17 and a year later won his first cap. Spent six seasons in Amsterdam before moving to Hamburg, where he revived his career as a creative midfielder, attracting the attention of Valencia in 2007. Was kept to his contract though by the Bundesliga club. Hardly played at Euro 2004.

Wesley Sneijder (Real Madrid). Midfielder. Born 9.6.84. Caps 43. Goals 8.

Free-scoring midfielder who made his debut for Ajax and the national team at 18. Played only 58 minutes of Euro 2004 but became a regular under Marco van Basten. Scored 18 league goals in 2006-07, leading to a 27 million euro transfer to Real Madrid. Will be one of three attacking midfielders in Van Basten's tactics for Euro 2008.

Demy de Zeeuw (AZ Alkmaar). Midfielder. Born 26.5.83. Caps 13. Goals 0.

Holding midfielder who joined Alkmaar from mid-table second division club Go Ahead Eagles Deventer in 2005. A member of the Dutch Under-21 squad who won their first European championship in 2006. Made his debut for the senior team in 2007 and, along with Denny Landzaat, is a candidate to play alongside Giovanni van Bronckhorst in front of the defence.

Ibrahim Afellay (PSV Eindhoven). Midfielder. Born 2.4.86. Caps 3. Goals 0.

Creative midfielder who made his debut aged 17 for PSV Eindhoven and has since won four successive championships. Son of Moroccan parents and has dual nationality. Opted for the Dutch national team at senior level in 2007. Fragile during his first two seasons, he has since become stronger and more mature.

Orlando Engelaar (Twente Enschede). Midfielder. Born 24.8.79. Caps 4. Goals 0.

A product of the Feyenoord youth system, though he never made it to the first team and moved to NAC Breda in 2000. Joined Racing Genk in Belgium in 2004 but two years later returned to the Netherlands to sign for Twente Enschede. Was sought by Ajax Amsterdam last season but extended his contract in Enschede.

Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid). Forward. Born 1.7.76. Caps 59. Goals 30.

Lone striker in Marco van Basten's 4-2-3-1 system. Publicly clashed with the coach after the 2006 World Cup where he was dropped for the last 16 defeat by Portugal. Back in the squad in Aug. 2007, he responded with goals against Bulgaria and Albania in Euro qualifiers. Scored four goals at Euro 2004 and received a two-match ban after the lost semi-final for insulting referee Anders Frisk, naming him a home referee. Joined Real Madrid after the 2006 World Cup after fine spell at Manchester United and won the Spanish title in his first year, scoring 25 goals.

Arjen Robben (Real Madrid). Forward. Born 23.1.84. Caps 31. Goals 8.

Sensational but injury-prone winger. Signed for Chelsea in 2004 from PSV Eindhoven, but missed a major part of his first season through injury. Scored the decisive penalty during the Euro 2004 quarter-final shootout against Sweden and in the Dutch opener at the 2006 World Cup against Serbia and Montenegro. Joined Real Madrid in 2007 but was again held back by injuries.

Robin van Persie (Arsenal). Forward. Born 6.8.83. Caps 24. Goals 7.

Stylish product of the Feyenoord youth ranks, he joined Arsenal in 2004 and ended his first season with two weeks in custody in Rotterdam on suspicion of rape. Charges were later dropped. Shows real talent when fit, especially with free kicks, but has suffered from injuries in his time with Arsenal.

Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool). Forward. Born 22.7.80. Caps 36. Goals 7.

A hard worker who broke into the squad under Marco van Basten, playing twice at the 2006 World Cup. Player of the Year in the Netherlands in his last season at Feyenoord before a move to Liverpool in 2006. Has not set the Kop alight, with three league goals last season, but did well in the Champions League.

Ryan Babel (Liverpool). Forward. Born 19.12.86. Caps 24. Goals 5.

Talented winger who made his debut for Ajax Amsterdam at 17 and for the Dutch team a year later, scoring on his debut in Romania in March 2005. Followed Dirk Kuyt's lead in 2007 when he signed for Liverpool. Was denied a place in the starting line-up for the Euro 2008 qualifier against Romania for oversleeping.

Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (Celtic). Forward. Born 11.7.78. Caps 14. Goals 3.

Tough striker who had a five-year spell at PSV Eindhoven before joining Celtic after the 2006 World Cup. Has settled in well, averaging out at a goal every other game this season. Failed to score in his first 11 games for the national side, but has since scored in the three consecutive friendlies.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Ajax Amsterdam). Forward. Born 12.8.83. Caps 12. Goals 7.

Came up through the ranks at PSV Eindhoven before joining Heerenveen in 2004. Was top scorer in the second division in 2004 and in the first division in 2006 and 2008. Joined Ajax in Jan. 2006 and has scored 70 goals in 82 league matches. A member of the Under-21 squad who won the 2006 European championship.

(Writing by Theo Ruizenaar; Editing by Trevor Huggins)

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