Van Nistelrooy recalled for injured Van Persie

Veteran striker Ruud van Nistelrooy returned to the Netherlands
squad for the first time in two years Monday as coach Bert van
Marwijk called him up to replace the injured Robin van Persie for
two European Championship qualifiers.

Van Persie injured his left ankle on Saturday in Arsenal’s 2-1
defeat of Blackburn Rovers and the Dutch Football Association said
Monday he is likely to be out of action for ”at least a few
weeks.”

Van Nistelrooy last played for the Netherlands in the 2008
European Championship quarterfinal, when he scored his country’s
only goal in a 3-1 extra-time loss to Russia. Van Nistelrooy has
scored 33 goals in 64 appearances for the Netherlands.

The 34-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid player
has scored three goals so far this season for his Bundesliga club
Hamburg.

He was expected to join the Netherlands’ training camp on
Tuesday.

World Cup runner-up the Netherlands plays Group E qualifiers in
San Marino on Sept. 2 and against Finland in Rotterdam four days
later.

Announcing his squad last Friday, Van Marwijk said Van
Nistelrooy could still play in the Euro 2012 campaign.

”Ruud is already 34 and will be 36 in two years at the European
Championship but we will call him up if necessary,” Van Marwijk
said.