ROTTERDAM, May 20 (Reuters) - Penpix of the preliminary Netherlands squad for the World Cup in South Africa:
Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax Amsterdam). Goalkeeper. Born Sept. 22 1982. Caps 25. Goals 0.
First-choice goalkeeper, and true penalty-killer, since Edwin van der Sar resigned after the Euro 2008 finals. Made his debut for Ajax in 2002, followed by his first cap in September 2004. Several injuries during his first three seasons in Amsterdam stopped him becoming a regular. Deaf in one ear. Was sent off for a professional foul during a friendly international against Australia in 2008 to become the first Dutch team keeper to receive a red card.
Michel Vorm (Utrecht). Goalkeeper. Born Oct. 20 1983. Caps 3. Goals 0.
Athletic keeper who has been the first choice at mid-table Utrecht since 2006 after one season on loan at second division side Den Bosch. Seems calm in his goal but challenges every ball in his area. Won first two caps in friendly international matches and had an outstanding performance in his third at Hampden Park in the final World Cup qualifying match against Scotland. Is considered the stand-in for first choice Stekelenburg.
Sander Boschker (Twente Enschede). Goalkeeper. Born Oct. 20 1970. Caps 0. Goals 0.
Holds the record for Dutch league appearances for a single club with 543. A solid keeper with 19 years of league experience. Won the Dutch championship with Twente this season and is expected to make the World Cup squad as third keeper, to add some experience.
Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord). Defender. Born Feb. 16 1985. Caps 3. Goals 0.
Physical, strong central defender who won his first cap in October 2005 six months after his debut in professional soccer for AZ Alkmaar. Allowed Luca Toni to score twice in his second appearance, which probably kept him out the World Cup 2006 squad. Joined Feyenoord in January 2006 but was sidelined for almost two seasons with a double cruciate knee ligament injury. Made an impressive comeback this season. Excels with overview, a powerful long drive and precise long pass.
Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax Amsterdam). Defender. Born Feb 3 1988. Caps 8. Goals 0.
Offensive back who scored six league goals for his club this season. Since 2008 he has been a first choice at Ajax and set to fill the same role in the Dutch team. Defensively Van der Wiel needs to improve as he might get have problems against a conventional winger. Ran into trouble with coach Bert van Marwijk last year when he pulled out of the squad going to Australia for a friendly because of concussion, then reported on Twitter that he had been to a concert by rapper Lil Wayne on the night the team flew out.
Edson Braafheid (Celtic). Defender. Born April 8 1983. Caps 6. Goals 0.
Left wing defender who will be second choice behind Giovanni van Bronckhorst. In two seasons at Twente Enschede he proved himself to be a fast, solid defender which earned him a transfer to Bayern Munich in July 2009 but he did not play much and moved to Glasgow's Celtic on loan.
Vurnon Anita (Ajax Amsterdam). Defender. Born April 4 1989. Caps 0. Goals 0.
Wing defender, who became a regular this season at his club Ajax Amsterdam under Martin Jol. Born on the Dutch Antilles and move to the Netherlands when he was eight months old. Started to play football in Maarssen but switched to baseball when he moved back to the Antilles for a year. Came up through the Ajax youth department and made his senior debut aged 16 to become the second youngest player for Ajax after Clarence Seedorf.
Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg). Defender. Born April 5 1980. Caps 53. Goals 3.
Started his professional career with Willem II Tilburg and signed for AZ Alkmaar in 2004. Impressed during his first season in Alkmaar and also became a regular in the Dutch squad. Earned a big transfer to Hamburg after the 2006 World Cup. Criticised by the Dutch media though his solid performances in the Bundesliga made him a steady, first-choice central defender.
John Heitinga (Everton). Defender. Born Nov. 15 1983. Caps 51. Goals 6.
Versatile defender who made his debut for Ajax aged 17 in 2001. Has overcome two long-term knee ligament injuries. Started his career as right back but moved to the centre of defence after Jaap Stam's resignation in 2007. Was player of the year that season and earned a big transfer to Atletico Madrid, leaving a year later to join Everton. Expected to form the central defence pairing with Mathijsen.
Andre Ooijer (PSV Eindhoven). Defender. Born July 11 1974. Caps 53. Goals 3.
Experienced defender, who can play on the right wing or in the centre. Came through the Ajax Amsterdam youth system where he started as midfielder. After playing for Volendam and Roda JC Kerkrade he signed for PSV Eindhoven in 1998. Won five championships with PSV before he moved to Blackburn Rovers in 2006 after the World Cup finals but returned to PSV three years later. Has missed half of this season's league matches through injury. Married to the daughter of former Dutch international Willy van der Kerkhof, who played in the 1978 World Cup final.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), Defender. Born Feb. 5 1975. Caps 97. Goals 5.
Left back who started his career as playmaker in the Feyenoord youth department but made his professional debut as a left midfielder. Left the club in 1998 and, after spells at Glasgow Rangers and Arsenal, joined Barcelona in 2003. Won two Spanish titles and the Champions League in 2006. Returned to Feyenoord in 2007 and won the Dutch cup. Will be Dutch captain at his third World Cup finals, after playing in 1998 and 2006. South Africa will be his last outing as a player and he could become the fourth Dutch player to reach 100 caps.
Khalid Boulahrouz (VFB Stuttgart). Defender. Born Dec. 28 1981. Caps 28. Goals 0.
Merciless defender whose career rapidly developed when he signed for Hamburg in 2004, moving from modest RKC Waalwijk, and made his debut under Marco van Basten in the Dutch team. Joined Chelsea two years later, but rarely made the first team in London. Has been frequently injured over the last three years. Played at the 2006 World Cup and the 2008 Euro finals.
Nigel de Jong (Manchester City). Midfielder. Born Nov. 30 1984. Caps 40. Goals 1.
Son of former Dutch international Jerry de Jong. Made his debut aged 17 for Ajax and aged 19 for the Dutch national team. Joined Hamburg in January 2006 and moved to Manchester City in January last year. Can play as right back but since his spell in Hamburg he is mainly used a holding midfielder.
Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich). Midfielder. Born April 22 1977. Caps 54. Goals 9.
Holding midfielder and a natural leader on the pitch who is set to play his second Champions League final on May 22 with Bayern Munich after he won the trophy in 2006 with Barcelona. Resigned from the Dutch team after the 2006 World Cup, saying he was no longer available while Van Basten was in charge. Came back after the Euro 2008 finals under Van Marwijk, who is his father-in-law.
Stijn Schaars (AZ Alkmaar). Midfielder. Born Jan. 11 1984. Caps 11. Goals 0.
Stylish midfielder and skipper of the Dutch under-21 team that won the 2006 European title. Added to the Dutch squad for the 2006 World Cup by Van Basten as two players were doubtful, but proved redundant and left the camp on the day the tournament started. Missed the complete 2007/2008 season through injuries but made a glorious comeback a year later as captain of AZ Alkmaar who won their second Dutch title in 2009.
Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid). Midfielder. Born Feb. 11 1983. Caps 75. Goals 15.
Debuted for Ajax aged 17 and a year later he won his first cap for the national team. Was in a rut after six seasons in Amsterdam and moved to Hamburg where his career revived. Joined Real in 2008. Had a disappointing Euro 2004 tournament, playing little and looking overweight, but played at the 2006 World Cup and 2008 Euro finals.
Wesley Sneijder (Internazionale Milan). Midfielder. Born June 9 1984. Caps 59. Goals 12.
Attacking, easy-scoring midfielder who made his debut for Ajax and the national team aged 18. Played only 58 minutes during the 2004 Euro finals but became a regular under Van Basten. Scored 18 league goals during the 2006/2007 season and earned a transfer to Real Madrid, who paid 27 million euro. Became redundant at Real Madrid last year and joined Inter. Will return to the Bernabeu stadium on May 22 to play the Champions League final.
Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax Amsterdam). Midfielder. Born May 26 1983. Caps 23. Goals 0.
Holding midfielder who joined Alkmaar at the age of 22 from mid-table second division club Go Ahead Eagles Deventer. Member of the Dutch under-21 squad who won their first European Championship in 2006. Made his debut for the national team in 2007. Won the championship with Alkmaar in 2009 and left the club after that to join Ajax Amsterdam.
Ibrahim Afellay (PSV Eindhoven). Midfielder. Born April 2 1986. Caps 20. Goals 0.
Playmaker who made his debut aged 17 for PSV Eindhoven and won four successive championships with them. Son of Moroccan parents and has dual nationality. Played for the Dutch under-20 team during the 2005 World Cup and made his final choice in 2007 that he would be available for the Netherlands. Proved fragile during his first two seasons. Made the Dutch squad for the Euro 2008 finals but has a lot of competition for the offensive midfield positions.
Orlando Engelaar (PSV Eindhoven). Midfielder. Born Aug. 24 1979. Caps 13. Goals 0.
Came up through Feyenoord's youth department but never made it into the first team in Rotterdam and moved to NAC Breda in 2000. After four years the 1.96-metre Engelaar joined Racing Genk in Belgium and two years later he returned to the Netherlands to sign for Twente Enschede. Joined Schalke 04 in July 2008 but failed to make an impression and moved back to the Netherlands to sign for PSV Eindhoven.
Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich). Winger. Born Jan. 23 1984. Caps 46. Goals 11.
Seems to have overcome his tendency to suffer muscle injuries. Has an impressive list of honours including championships in the Netherlands, England, Spain and Germany. Joined Chelsea in 2004 after two-year spells at Groningen and PSV Eindhoven. Because of injuries Robben made little impression in England and after three years he was sold for some 36 million euros to Real Madrid, where he stayed two years before joining coach Louis van Gaal at Bayern Munich. In Germany, Robben has had a sensational first season, scoring 16 league goals and helping his club to reach the Champions League final on May 22.
Robin van Persie (Arsenal). Winger. Born Aug. 6 1983. Caps 41. Goals 14.
Arsene Wenger's first-choice striker at Arsenal but he missed five months of the season after surgery on an injured ankle. A stylish product of the Feyenoord youth system, he became a regular at the Rotterdam club in their UEFA Cup-winning 2002 season. Joined Arsenal in 2004. A versatile player who is used in the Dutch side as winger, playmaker or striker.
Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool). Striker. Born July 22 1980. Caps 60. Goals 14.
Started his career as central striker and scored 100 goals in his first seven seasons in the Dutch first division. Chosen as player of the year in 2006 before he joined Liverpool, where he mainly plays from the right flank. Scored 12 league goals during his first seasons at Anfield. Made his debut for the Dutch team under Van Basten and was a regular until the 2006 World Cup finals where he played only two matches. At the Euro 2008 finals Kuyt played all four matches and scored once against France. Plays as striker or right wing for the Dutch.
Ryan Babel (Liverpool). Winger. Born Dec. 19 1986. Caps 38. Goals 5.
Talented winger who scored on his debut for the Dutch side in Romania in 2005. Followed Kuyt in 2007 when he signed for Liverpool. Made the Dutch squad for the 2006 World Cup but went on only once, against Argentina. Babel strained ankle ligaments ahead of the Euro 2008 finals and missed the tournament. Performs as a rapper in England and the Netherlands under the name Rio.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan). Striker. Born Aug. 12 1983. Caps 30. Goals 15.
Scored 109 goals in 148 league matches during spells at Heerenveen and Ajax Amsterdam, then moved to Real Madrid in January 2009. Scored eight goals in 20 league appearances in the Spanish capital but was sold in August last year to AC Milan. Has spent a lot of time on the bench in Italy. Made his international debut in the first match after the 2006 World Cup.
Eljero Elia (Hamburg). Winger. Born Feb. 13 1987. Caps 6. Goals 1.
Unpredictable winger who joined Twente in 2007 and had an excellent second season in Enschede in which he scored nine league goals. Moved to Hamburg where, after a promising start, he was sidelined by injury for months. Won his first cap in September 2009 in a friendly against Japan. Four days later his stylish goal earned the Netherlands a 1-0 win at Hampden Park in their final World Cup qualifying match against Scotland.
(Compiled by Theo Ruizenaar; Editing by Clare Fallon; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)comments