Rafael van der Vaart out of World Cup for Netherlands
Midfielder was most-experienced player on preliminary squad
Netherlands veteran Rafael van der Vaart was ruled out of the FIFA World Cup due to a calf injury, the team said on Wednesday.
The Hamburg captain played a major role in the Oranje’s run to the 2010 World Cup final. Van der Vaart was named to the Netherlands’ 30-man preliminary roster, despite poor form this season as his German club struggled to remain in the country’s top flight.
Van der Vaart was the most experienced Dutch player on the preliminary squad, with 109 international caps in his career, scoring 25 goals.
What this means
This is another blow to the Netherlands’ hopes of making a return to the final in 2014. Despite his poor form with Hamburg, Van der Vaart is still an important depth player for the team. Injuries are adding up, as the Netherlands will also be without AS Roma’s Kevin Strootman and Paris Saint Germain's Gregory van der Wiel in Brazil.