File photo of Dutch footballer Wesley Sneijder.
The Hague: Galatasaray midfielder Wesley Sneijder has been left out of the preliminary Netherlands squad for the friendly against Portugal on August 14. Dutch coach Louis van Gaal named 26 players in his provisional squad for the match in Faro, Portugal, reports Xinhua.
Among others, the regular big names like Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) and Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburger SV) are in, but Sneijder is not.
Just one year ago when Van Gaal started his second term as Dutch national team coach, he appointed Sneijder as his captain. However, the midfielder hardly played at Inter in the first half of last season and was not fit during the second half at his new club Galatasaray.
Ahead of the trip to Indonesia and China in June this year, Van Gaal decided to drop Sneijder as captain and to name Van Persie as his permanent replacement. "Sneijder has not been fit for a whole year. He should focus on his own fitness first," Van Gaal explained.
Sneijder expressed his disappointment after the decision by Van Gaal and said he would train in the summer in order to become fit for the forthcoming season. Van Gaal will announce his final squad for Portugal August 9.