Holland coach Bert van Marwijk finalises World Cup squad

• Anita, Vlaar, Engelaar and Lens omitted from final 23
• Engelaar only cut player with major tournament experience

Holland manager Bert van Marwijk

The Holland manager Bert van Marwijk has finalised his 23-man squad for the World Cup by dropping four players. Photograph: Koen Van Weel/EPA

The Holland coach Bert van Marwijk has finalised his 23-man World Cup squad, dropping Vurnon Anita of Ajax, Ron Vlaar of Feyenoord, the PSV Eindhoven midfielder Orlando Engelaar and the AZ Alkmaar forward Jeremain Lens.

Anita's omission comes just a day after he made his international debut as a second-half substitute during Holland's 2-1 win over Mexico in a warm-up match in Germany in which Arsenal's Robin van Persie returned from injury to score both Holland goals.

Vlaar forced his way into the preliminary squad with a strong season for Feyenoord but was considered a long shot to go to South Africa and has missed much of the training camp in Austria through injury. Lens was also a surprise inclusion in the original squad and was competing with Ryan Babel of Liverpool.

Of the four players sent home on the eve of the World Cup, only Engelaar had experience at a major tournament – he was in the 2008 European Championship squad.

Holland will play in Group E with Denmark, Japan and Cameroon.

Goalkeepers: Sander Boschker (FC Twente), Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Michel Vorm (FC Utrecht).

Defenders: Khalid Boulahrouz (Stuttgart), Edson Braafheid (Celtic), John Heitinga (Everton), Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg), Andre Ooijer (PSV Eindhoven), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax).

Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay (PSV Eindhoven), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax), Stijn Schaars (AZ Alkmaar), Wesley Sneijder (Internazionale), Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich), Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid).

Forwards: Ryan Babel (Liverpool), Eljero Elia (Hamburg), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Milan), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Robin van Persie (Arsenal).


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