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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Feb 1, 2008

Van Basten axes Kuyt from Holland squad

ZEIST, Netherlands, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Netherlands coach Marco van Basten left striker Dirk Kuyt out of a 21-man squad named on Friday for next week's friendly against Croatia. Kuyt made his debut under Van Basten in Sept. 2004 and won 35 caps during the 43 matches with him as coach. But the striker has scored only seven goals for Liverpool this season and has not found the net in his last 11 games. His absence fromm the game in Split on Wednesday, which is designed to help the squad prepare for Euro 2008, also reflects a change of system by Van Basten. 'The system we had can be compared with Liverpool's ... and his performances are not good enough' Van Basten told reporters. 'We will now move on with a sort of 4-2-3-1 system.' Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie are still out through injury but Van Basten expects them to be back soon at club level. Euro 2008 will be Van Basten's final matches as national coach and he also spared a thought for his own future. 'I spoke with Ajax already and told them I am interested but the club said there also are other candidates,' he said. 'We made a second appointment but that will be with my agent and I will not be present.' The Dutch also will play Austria, Ukraine, Denmark and Wales in friendly matches before starting the tournament on June 9 against world champions Italy in Berne, Switzerland. Squad Goalkeepers: Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United), Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax Amsterdam) Defenders: Wilfred Bouma (Aston Villa), Tim de Cler (Feyenoord), John Heitinga (Ajax Amsterdam), Joris Mathijsen (SV Hamburg), Mario Melchiot (Wigan Athletic), André Ooijer (Blackburn Rovers). Mifdielders: Ibrahim Afellay (PSV Eindhoven), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), Orlando Engelaar (Twente Enschede), Nigel de Jong (SV Hamburg), Denny Landzaat (Feyenoord), Clarence Seedorf (AC Milan), Wesley Sneijder (Real Madrid), Rafael van der Vaart (SV Hamburg), Demy de Zeeuw (AZ Alkmaar). Forwards: Ryan Babel (Liverpool), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Ajax Amsterdam), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid), Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (Celtic)