Van Nistelrooy out of Dutch preliminary squad

Ruud van Nistelrooy was left out of the Netherlands' provisional squad for the World Cup on Tuesday.

Ruud van Nistelrooy was left out of the Netherlands' provisional squad for the World Cup on Tuesday.

Coach Bert van Marwijk said the Hamburg forward was now fit but that a long-term absence had ended his chances.

Van Nistelrooy last featured for the Netherlands at the 2008 European Championship. Though the striker wanted to play in South Africa, van Marwijk said he wasn't at his best after injuring his knee while playing for Real Madrid.

"I have told him that we have intensely followed him and we have admiration for his desire and efforts to go to the World Cup," Van Marwijk said. "As far as I know, Ruud is fit. But there is insufficient time for him to get to his normal levels after his lengthy knee injury."

There were no major surprises in the 30-man squad, which included Liverpool duo Ryan Babel and Dirk Kuyt, along with John Heitinga, Nigel de Jong and Robin van Persie.

Inter Milan's Wesley Sneijder and Bayern Munich's Mark van Bommel along with teammate Arjen Robben are also in the squad.

AC Milan veteran Clarence Seedorf said he was expecting a surprise phone call from van Marwijk but didn't get one and was left out. However, teammate Klaas Jan Huntelaar was included.

Netherlands squad:

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

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

Midfielders: Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan), Otman Bakkal (PSV Eindhoven), Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich), Wout Brama (FC Twente), Orlando Engelaar (PSV Eindhoven), Ibrahim Afellay (PSV Eindhoven), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), Stijn Schaars (AZ Alkmaar), David Mendes da Silva (AZ Alkmaar), Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid), Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax).

Strikers: Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Ryan Babel (Liverpool), Eljero Elia (Hamburger SV), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Jeremain Lens (AZ Alkmaar), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan).