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The Globe and Mail

A close look at Netherlands’ Euro 2012 squad

The Nov. 11, 2011 file photo shows the Dutch team.

Associated Press

The Dutch squad for the Euro 2012 finals comprises the following 23 players:


Maarten Stekelenburg (AS Roma) Born: 22.09.82 Caps: 47. First-choice since Edwin van der Sar finally left the scene. Sent off for professional foul during a friendly against Australia in 2008, the first Dutch keeper to receive a red card. Deaf in one ear, moved to AS Roma in July 2011. Kept 24 clean sheets in 46 outings.

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Michel Vorm (Swansea City) Born: 20.10.83 Caps: 9. Athletic keeper, became first-choice at mid-table Utrecht in 2006 after season on loan at second division side Den Bosch. Won first two caps in friendlies before outstanding showing in third in final 2010 World Cup qualifier against Scotland. Joined Swansea in July 2011, impressed in first Premier League season.

Tim Krul (Newcastle United) Born: 03.04.88 Caps: 3. Joined Newcastle, aged 17, from Den Haag youth system. Made debut in 2006 in UEFA Cup tie with Palermo and league debut in 2009, in the Championship. Became a regular this season and has been in outstanding form as Newcastle climbed the table to finish fifth. Won his caps in friendlies against Brazil and Uruguay in June 2011 and Bulgaria just before the championships.


Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord) Born: 16.02.85 Caps: 7 Goals: 1. Powerful central defender, won first cap in October, 2005. Allowed Luca Toni to score twice in second appearance, which probably kept him out of 2006 World Cup squad. Joined Feyenoord in 2006, but sidelined for almost two seasons with double cruciate knee ligament injury. Reads game superbly, has strong shot and precise long passing.

Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax Amsterdam) Born: 03.02.88 Caps: 32 Goals: 0. Attacking full-back with a weakness for social media, he became an Ajax regular in 2008. Defensively Van der Wiel has to improve, notably against a conventional winger. Missed much of last season through injuries.

Joris Mathijsen (Malaga) Born: 05.04.80 Caps: 79 Goals: 3. Began professional career with Willem II Tilburg, moved to AZ Alkmaar in 2004 after six seasons. Impressed in first season at Alkmaar, became Dutch regular. Earned big transfer to SV Hamburg after 2006 World Cup. In 2011, moved to Malaga, where he is not always s starter, even if he remains so for his country.

John Heitinga (Everton) Born: 15.11.83 Caps: 78 Goals: 7. Versatile defender who progressed through youth system to make Ajax debut aged 17 in 2001. Overcame two long-term knee ligament injuries. Began as a right-back, but moved into central defence after Jaap Stam's retirement in 2007. Player of the year that season, earned big transfer to Atletico Madrid. Left a year later for Everton.

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Khalid Boulahrouz (VFB Stuttgart) Born: 28.12.81 Caps: 35 Goals: 0. Tough defender whose career developed when he joined SV Hamburg in 2004 and made debut under Marco van Basten in Dutch team. Joined Chelsea two years later, but hardly made their first team. After a spell at Seville, he joined VFB Stuttgart in 2008, but frequently sidelined with injuries.

Wilfred Bouma (PSV Eindhoven) Born: 15.06.1978 Caps: 37 Goals: 1. Started his career as conventional left winger but later became a left back who can also play as central defender. Played every match for the Dutch during the 2004 Euro finals. Joined Aston Villa in 2005 after an 11-year spell at PSV but did not play in his final two years there due to an broken ankle before he returned to PSV in 2010. Won his last cap in the final group stage match at Euro 2008 against Romania.

Jetro Willems (PSV Eindhoven) Born:30.03.1994 Caps: 1 Goals: 0. Rotterdam born defender who followed the Sparta youth department and made his debut for the first team in the second division aged 16 before he was sold to PSV. Injuries to the other two left-backs in Eindhoven earned him his first division debut aged 17 in October 2011. Won the European title in 2011 with the Dutch Under-17 side beating Germany in the final.


Nigel de Jong (Manchester City) Born: 30.11.84 Caps: 60 Goals: 1. Hard-tackling son of former Dutch international Jerry de Jong. Joined SV Hamburg in January 2006 and moved to Manchester City three years later. Kick on Xabi Alonso's chest during the World Cup final earned him worldwide criticism. Was left out of squad by Bert van Marwijk for four matches after breaking Newcastle forward Hatem Ben Arfa's leg with a wild tackle in 2010.

Mark van Bommel (AC Milan) Born: 22.04.77 Caps: 77 Goals: 10. Holding midfielder who started his professional career at Fortuna Sittard under coach van Marwijk, who later became his father-in-law. Natural leader who had successful spells at PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona and Bayern Munich before he joined AC Milan in 2011 after a controversy with Bayern coach Louis van Gaal. Won the Champions League in 2006 with Barcelona and reached the final four years later with Bayern. Has had a turbulent international career.

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Stijn Schaars (Sporting Portugal) Born: 11.01.84 Caps: 18 Goals: 0. Stylish midfielder, missed the 2007-08 season through injury, but made his comeback as captain of the AZ Alkmaar side that won a second Dutch title in 2009. Member of 2010 World Cup squad, but did not play. Joined Sporting Lisbon in 2011.

Rafael van der Vaart (Tottenham Hotspur) Born: 11.02.83 Caps: 96 Goals: 18. Skilful left-footed goal-scoring midfielder, made debut for Ajax aged 17 and one year later won first cap. Had a spell at SV Hamburg before joining Real Madrid. Stayed ly two seasons in Spain before joining Tottenham Hotspur for 8.0 million pounds where he is hugely popular with the crowd and has scored 29 times in 83 matches.

Wesley Sneijder (Internazionale) Born: 09.06.84 Caps: 84 Goals: 24. Creative and gifted midfielder. Enjoyed stunning Euro 2008 group stage games against Italy and France. Scored 18 league goals in 2006-07 season to earn 27 million euros move to Real Madrid. Famous treble in first season at Internazionale followed by outstanding 2010 World Cup with five goals.

Ibrahim Afellay (Barcelona) Born: 02.04.86 Caps: 37 Goals: 5. Playmaker who lines up on left flank, son of Moroccan parents, made PSV Eindhoven debut at 17 and won four successive championships. Joined Barcelona in 2011, won La Liga title and Champions League in first season, but suffered cruciate ligament injury at start of second. Made rapid recovery.

Kevin Strootman (PSV Eindhoven) Born: 13.02.90 Caps: 10 Goals: 1. Holding midfielder who went from second division in December, 2010, to make Dutch national debut in February 2011, having left Sparta Rotterdam for Utrecht. An impressive second half of season earned him another move, to PSV Eindhoven and a starting place in Netherlands team, ahead of Nigel de Jong.


Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) Born: 23.01.84 Caps: 57 Goals: 17. The most effective match-winner in the Dutch squad, but also the most frequently injured, at 28, he has already won championships in the Netherlands, England, Spain and Germany. Despite missing the start of the 2010 World Cup, due to a hamstring injury, he scored twice in five matches, but has played only twice since the final. Had a poor Champions League final for Bayern against Chelsea, missing a penalty in extra time.

Robin van Persie (Arsenal) Born: 06.08.83 Caps: 65 Goals: 28. Has matured into a top-quality striker and leader as captain of Arsenal, widely regarded as one of most dangerous forwards in Europe. Progressed via youth system to be a regular in Feyenoord side that won 2002 UEFA Cup, joined Arsenal in 2004 where his clever running, power and deft finishing have earned him heroic status as a prolific marksman. Voted England's Footballer of the Year and the Players's Player of the Year this season.

Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool) Born: 22.7.80 Caps: 88 Goals: 24.

Enthusiastic and energetic forward, started career as central striker with 100 goals in first seven seasons in Dutch first division. Left Feyenoord for Liverpool in 2006. Played only twice at 2006 World Cup, but regained regular place under Van Marwijk. Despite losing starting spot at Liverpool, remains undisputed pick for Dutch.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04) Born: 12.08.83 Caps: 53 Goals: 31. Joined Heerenveen in 2004 and then Ajax, scoring 109 goals in 148 matches for both before signing for Real Madrid in 2009, followed by AC Milan and Schalke 04 in 2010. Scored 31 goals in first 50 appearances for his country, including 12 in Euro 2012 qualifiers. Scored first ever goal at Arsenal's new Emirates Stadium in stadium-opening friendly in 2006.

Luuk de Jong (Twente Enschede) Born: 27.08.90 Caps: 7 Goals: 1. Highly-rated striker, started career at Graafschap Doetinchem, made debut 2008 and was sold to Twente Enschede. Won Dutch title in first year and Cup in second. Won first cap in February 2011, in friendly against Austria, scored in his third match in Euro 2012 qualifier in Finland.

Luciano Narsingh (Heerenveen) Born: 13.09.1990 Caps: 1 Goals: 0. Amsterdam-born winger who followed the youth department of Ajax and AZ Alkmaar before he joined Heerenveen in 2008 where he broke through this season scoring eight goals and became the major supplier to leading scorer Bas Dost with 20 assists.

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