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May 31, 2014

No surprises in Netherlands squad

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop and Craig Burley discuss Rafael van der Vaart's injury and what it means for Le Oranje.

There were no surprises as Louis van Gaal kept faith with his star names for his final 23-man Netherlands squad.

- Born: Search for the stars

The KNVB had already confirmed that Hamburg's Rafael van der Vaart, a key player when the Dutch reached the final in South Africa four years ago, would miss this summer's tournament after suffering an injury setback in training.

He is cut from the final selection along with Chelsea full-back Patrick van Aanholt, who has been on loan at Vitesse Arnhem, and Manchester City centre-back Karim Rekik, who has been borrowed by PSV Eindhoven.

PSV goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet, FC Twente winger Quincy Promes and Feyenoord duo Jean-Paul Boetius and Tonny Vilhena have also failed to make the plane to Brazil.

Van Gaal told the KNVB website that it had been an "emotional" morning as he informed the players they would not be included in his squad.

"I spoke personally with all six players," he added. "I am very pleased with the commitment of those involved and proud of all their efforts."

Van Aanholt, 23, said he was "disappointed but also proud and happy" and felt he would be able to force his way into the squad in future, while Zoet, also 23, said he saw his inclusion in the squad in recent weeks as a "stepping stone to a future international career" as he awaits his first senior Ornaje cap.

Netherlands will be relying on the likes of Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder as they seek to progress from Group B, which also contains reigning champions Spain plus Chile and Australia.

Final 23-man Netherlands squad

Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Michel Vorm (Swansea City), Tim Krul (Newcastle United).

Defenders: Paul Verhaegh (Augsburg), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord), Joel Veltman (Ajax), Stefan de Vrij (Feyenoord), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Terence Kongolo (Feyenoord), Daley Blind (Ajax).

Midfielders: Leroy Fer (Norwich City), Nigel de Jong (AC Milan), Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Jonathan de Guzman (Swansea City), Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray).

Forwards: Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke), Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce), Jeremain Lens (Dynamo Kiev), Memphis Depay (PSV)

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