Euro 2012

Fit-again Afellay makes final Dutch cut

Despite spending almost the entire season on the sidelines injured, Barcelona winger Ibrahim Afellay was included in the Netherlands' final 23-man squad for Euro 2012 on Saturday.

Afellay suffered a serious knee injury in September but has returned to fitness just in time.

"Ibrahim has completely recovered and has played some minutes with Barca in the last few weeks," said coach Bert van Marwijk, explaining his decision to include the former PSV Eindhoven man.

"All he is missing is competitive rhythm but he will recover that quickly."

Van Marwijk had to trim four players from the 27-man squad that travelled to a training camp in Switzerland last week, and Ajax duo Vurnon Anita and Siem de Jong missed out along with Jeremain Lens of PSV and Adam Maher of AZ Alkmaar.

Sixteen of the squad for the finals in Poland and Ukraine were part of the squad that went to the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, when the Oranje reached the final before losing to Spain.

The Netherlands have been drawn in Group B at Euro 2012 along with Germany, Portugal and Denmark.

They will kick off their campaign against Denmark in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Sunday, June 9.


Goalkeepers: Tim Krul (Newcastle United/ENG), Maarten Stekelenburg (AS Roma/ITA), Michel Vorm (Swansea City/ENG)

Defenders: Khalid Boulahrouz (VfB Stuttgart/GER), Wilfred Bouma (PSV Eindhoven), John Heitinga (Everton/ENG), Joris Mathijsen (Malaga/ESP), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax), Jetro Willems (PSV)

Midfielders: Mark van Bommel (AC Milan/ITA), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City/ENG), Stijn Schaars (Sporting Lisbon/POR), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan/ITA), Kevin Strootman (PSV Eindhoven), Rafael van der Vaart (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG)

Forwards: Ibrahim Afellay (Barcelona/ESP), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04/GER), Luuk de Jong (FC Twente), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool/ENG), Luciano Narsingh (SC Heerenveen), Robin van Persie (Arsenal/ENG), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich/GER)


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