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Van Nistelrooy Quits Dutch National Side
    2008-08-05 20:40:13     Xinhua
Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has announced his exit from the Dutch national soccer team to focus on matches at the Spanish club, Dutch media reported on Tuesday.

Van Nistelrooy, 32 scored 33 goals in 64 matches for the Oranje contingent, which displayed awesome form before succumbing to Guus Hiddink's Russia at the quarter-finals of the European Championships last June.

"After studying the schedules of Real Madrid and the Dutch team, I realized that playing for both sides would mean too tough a physical challenge for me. So I have made this decision," van Nistelrooy was quoted as telling Dutch new coach Bert van Marwijk.

Van Marwijk succeeded Marco van Basten, who quit the national team after the European Championships and joined Ajax.

In what turned out to be his last tournament representing his country, van Nistelrooy scored twice in the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland.

Van Marwijk said he regretted the powerful striker's decision.

"I regret that I can't use his quality and experience, but I wish him all the best," he said.

The Dutch national team will play their first match under van Marwijk on Aug. 20 in a friendly against Russia in Moscow.


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