The Hague, Netherlands: Wesley Sneijder was added to the Dutch football squad for the World Cup qualification matches against Estonia and Andorra, the Dutch football association KNVB said on Tuesday.
Sneijder was initially left out of the squad on Friday, but because of a knee injury for PSV midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum the 29-year-old Galatasaray midfielder was called up Monday. The Dutch squad now contains 21 players, reports Xinhua.
Ahead of the trip to Indonesia and China in June this year, Van Gaal replaced Sneijder as first captain by Manchester United striker Robin van Persie. The head coach wanted Sneijder to get fully fit first. For that reason Sneijder, who started the season at Galatasaray in good shape, was also not selected for the friendly against Portugal Aug 14 in Faro (1-1).
Last Friday Van Gaal explained his reasons not to call him up again for the forthcoming matches. “I don’t help Wesley by calling him up, because I think he can better follow the programme at his club,” said Van Gaal. “He still has to improve his fitness.”
Monday, Van Gaal did call Sneijder up due to Wijnaldum’s injury. The Netherlands will play Estonia on September 6 in Tallinn and Andorra on September 10 in Andorra la Vella. If the Dutch win both matches they will qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.