Netherlands teenager Jetro Willems will become the youngest player ever to take the field at a European Championship when he lines up for the Euro 2012 Group B opener against Denmark on Saturday.
Willems, who is 18 years and 71 days old, was selected at left back, a position which has caused some headaches for coach Bert van Marwijk. Enzo Scifo was 18 years and 115 days old when he played for Belgium at the 1984 Euros.
Van Marwijk opted for Ron Vlaar to replace the injured Joris Mathijsen at centre-half while Robin van Persie starts as the lone striker, meaning last season’s Bundesliga top scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will start on the bench.
Denmark got a boost with Niki Zimling, who picked up a toe injury in training on Friday, cleared to play. He will start in a holding midfield role alongside William Kvist.
Netherlands: 1-Maarten Stekelenburg; 2-Gregory van der Wiel, 3-John Heitinga, 13-Ron Vlaar, 15-Jetro Willems; 6-Mark van Bommel, 8-Nigel de Jong; 11-Arjen Robben, 10-Wesley Sneijder, 20-Ibrahim Afellay; 16-Robin van Persie
Denmark: 1-Stephan Andersen; 3-Simon Kjaer, 6-Lars Jacobsen, 4-Daniel Agger, 5-Simon Poulsen; 7-William Kvist, 21-Niki Zimling; 9-Michael Krohn-Dehli, 8-Christian Eriksen, 10-Dennis Rommedahl; 11-Nicklas Bendtner
Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovakia)