Van Nistelrooy quits from international duty | inside World Soccer


Van Nistelrooy quits from international duty

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has announced his retirement from international football in order to concentrate on his club career.

The 32-year-old has served the Netherlands over the past decade, but now he feels it’s impossible to perform to his best for both club and country.

"After I looked at the programmes of Real Madrid and Oranje, I came to the conclusion it is too heavy a burden because of the necessary physical effort," he said.

"I have no other choice. I’m taking no chances and after the enjoyable Euro 2008 finals I can look back upon (my decision) with a good feeling."

Van Nistelrooy initially retired in January 2007 when former coach Marco van Basten excluded him following a disappointing 2006 World Cup campaign.

However, after a good conversation, Ruudtje returned to the Oranje and made it to the final squad for Euro 2008.

The former Manchester United striker made his international debut in 1998.

Since then, he won a total of 64 caps and scored 33 goals - the same amount as Dutch legend Johan Cruyff.

He missed Euro 2000 through a knee injury but played and scored at the next European Championship in 2004 and 2008.

He was also a key member of the Dutch squad which reached the second stage of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

His last appearance for the national side was the quarter final of Euro 2008 where his side were losing to Russia.

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