Van Nistelrooy recalled to Dutch squad

AMSTERDAM - Striker Ruud van Nistelrooy was recalled to the Netherlands squad on Monday for the first time in two years, the Dutch Football Association said.

Coach Bert van Marwijk called up the 34-year-old SV Hamburg striker to replace Robin van Persie who sustained an ankle injury in Arsenal's match against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

Van Nistelrooy won 64 caps and scored 33 goals before quitting internationals after the Euro 2008 quarter-final defeat by Russia but he went back on his decision last season.

He was left out of the squad for this year's World Cup in South Africa where the Dutch reached the final.

Van Nistelrooy has scored three goals in the first two league matches of the season for Hamburg.

"Ruud looked fresh and sharp and that has all to do that he played the end of the season then had holiday and completed the whole pre-season build-up," Van Marwijk told a news conference.

"But this was one match and we also have to consider his age as he will be 36 over two years, but when he plays like this we can't ignore him."

Netherlands will start their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign on Friday in San Marino and host Finland next week.

Interact: Twitter * Facebook * Forums