Van Nistelrooy returns to national team
21 August 2007, GENEVA (AP) - Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy makes his return for the Netherlands in a friendly match against Switzerland on Wednesday.
21 August 2007
GENEVA (AP) - Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy makes his return for the Netherlands in a friendly match against Switzerland on Wednesday.
Van Nistelrooy has not played in international matches since falling out with Netherlands coach Marco van Basten at last year's World Cup.
It's the first time the two teams have met since the group stage at the 1996 European Championship, when the Netherlands won 2-0. The Dutch have won four of the last five matches.
The Dutch are third in Group G of the 2008 European Championship with 14 points from six matches.
Switzerland has lined up tough matches in preparation for Euro 2008 which it will co-host with Austria. It has won just one of its four friendlies in 2007, beating Jamaica 2-0. Switzerland drew 1-1 with Argentina and lost 3-1 to both Colombia and Germany.
FC Twente midfielder Blaise N'Kufo will play for Switzerland for the first time in five years - after ending a dispute with coach Koebi Kuhn - against the country where he has been playing since 2003.
"I know a few guys we'll be facing," N'Kufo was quoted as saying by Swiss daily Le Matin.
Switzerland's Alexander Frei is still sidelined following a hip operation in May, while attacking midfielder Daniel Gygax and midfielder Blerim Dzemaili were also unfit to join the team. Defender Valon Behrami was forced to withdraw over the weekend because of a thigh injury and will be replaced by Lille's Stephan Lichtsteiner.
"It's troublesome. I'd like to evaluate as many guys as possible," Kuhn said.
The Netherlands will be without injured winger Arjen Robben.
[Copyright AP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news