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"The intellectualisation
of football has
always foundered
on a simple problem-
-the players. Doing
all your most
rewarding thinking
with your feet seems
to dull the philo-
sophical impulse.
Unless, of course,
you are Dutch.
According to legend,
Europeans played
a moronic, muscular
version of the world's
game, until Holland
proclaimed its vision
of total football in the
1974 World Cup,
and enlightenment
dawned."

From:
Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football
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UEFA Euro 2012 Poland & Ukraine
Group E - Qualifications

Van Nistelrooy back in Dutch team

30 August 2010

Dutch Bondscoach Bert van Marwijk has called Hamburg-striker Ruud van Nistelrooy to the training camp of the Dutch national team, where they are preparing for the first Euro 2012 qualifiers against San Marino (Friday) and Finland Tuesday).

Van Nistelrooy is there to replace the injured Robin van Persie. The Arsenal player hurt his ankle in a Premier League game against Blackburn Rovers (2-1) on Saturday. Tests in hospital revealed he will be out for several weeks.

Van Nistelrooy last played for Holland in the Euro 2008 quarter final against Russia (1-3).

"I am happy to be part of the squad again. I never reckoned with it though," Van Nistelrooy told his club's website.

The former Manchester and Real Madrid forward is on great form lately, after he had an injury-free pre-season. He bagged three in a cup game with Hamburg and scored three in the first two league games of his club.

So far his tally is at 7 goals in 12 games for the German side.

Euro 2012 campaign - Results, schedule, standings

Holland at European Championships

All time European Championships ranking

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