Van Ginkel debuts in Dutch squad for Germany match
Uncapped Vitesse Arnhem midfielder Marco van Ginkel was picked in a 19-man Netherlands squad to face archrival Germany in a friendly next week.
In an unusual step, coach Louis van Gaal also left four spots open on Friday for players if they can prove their match fitness in the Dutch league this weekend.
The 19-year-old Van Ginkel has been influential in the rise of Vitesse to third place in the Eredivisie this season, and is tipped as a future star of the national team.
''It's an indescribable feeling,'' Van Ginkel said of his selection. ''I'm going to do my best to prove myself and at the same time enjoy the moment.''
Van Gaal said PSV players Kevin Strootman, Jeremain Lens and Luciano Narsingh, along with Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg will be added if they play over the weekend.
First-choice playmaker Wesley Sneijder, however, is definitely out. Van Gaal says the Inter Milan midfielder has not sufficiently recovered from a thigh injury that has sidelined him for weeks.
Rafael van der Vaart is expected to take Sneijder's place for his 103rd international as the team's most attacking midfielder.
The Netherlands plays Germany on Wednesday in Amsterdam. The last time they met, Germany won 2-1 in Kharkiv at the summer's European Championship, where the Netherlands was eliminated after three straight defeats in Group B. Germany was knocked out in the semifinals by Italy.
Van Gaal took over the Netherlands after the tournament and is in the process of rebuilding for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
He's looking forward to the friendly after his stint as coach of Bayern Munich.
''It's special that you are taking on players you know like the back of your hand,'' he said.
As usual, Van Gaal will be faced with the tough choice between two of Europe's most prolific strikers - Robin van Persie of Manchester United and Klaas Jan Huntelaar of Schalke.
Goalkeepers: Tim Krul (Newcastle), Kenneth Vermeer (Ajax).
Defenders: John Heitinga (Everton), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord), Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Joris Mathijsen (Feyenoord), Ricardo van Rhijn (Ajax), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Jetro Willems (PSV Eindhoven).
Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay (Schalke 04), Urby Emmanuelson (AC Milan), Marco van Ginkel (Vitesse Arnhem), Nigel de Jong (AC Milan), Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburger SV).
Forwards: Eljiero Elia (Werder Bremen), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke), Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich).