Netherlands captain Mark van Bommel begrudgingly quits international football

 

Following the Netherlands' dismal exit from Euro 2012, captain Mark van Bommel has announced his international retirement.

In a statement on the Dutch football association's website, it was clear that the midfielder leaves Le Oranje begrudgingly.

"I don't want to retire," Van Bommel said.

"Maybe there will a moment that the coach needs me in the future and then I will be available but for now it is time for talented young players."

The 35-year-old has been a divisive figure in the Dutch dressing room, with disquiet over his selection as captain of the national side. Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk is his father-in-law, drawing suspicion that the awarding of the armband was not wholly for the right reasons.

The Netherlands, one of the pre-tournament favourites, lost all three of their games at Euro 2012, going down to Denmark, Germany and Portugal.

Van Bommel, who has signed to play for PSV Eindhoven for next season, made his debut in 2000 and won a total of 79 caps. During Marco van Basten's time as manager of the national side, the former Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AC Milan player made himself unavailable for selection, but returned upon the appointment of Van Marwijk.

The combative midfielder was instrumental in helping the Netherlands reach the 2010 World Cup final, although his aggressive displays won few admirers during the tournament in South Africa.

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