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The Netherlands international has showered praise on his compatriot in the wake of the striker's decision to retire, and he feels Oranje can go all the way at Euro 2012

By Guus Hetterscheid

Netherlands international Khalid Boulahrouz has voiced his admiration for Ruud van Nistelrooy as he hailed the former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker as a "true legend".

Van Nistelrooy announced his retirement on Monday, and his former Oranje team-mate has nothing but positive words for the prolific hitman.
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"It's a real shame that he has decide to retire. He has meant a lot for the Dutch national team and football in general. He's a player with exceptional qualities. He's unique and a true legend," Boulahrouz told

"I was hoping that he would continue for another year, but he has made his decision. Ruud is an intelligent guy and he's thought this through very well.

"It was an honour to play alongside him and sit at the same table with him. We've had some serious conversations, but laughed plenty as well."

The defender then looked ahead to Euro 2012, and stated his belief that Oranje can go far at this summer's tournament.

"We made it to the World Cup final two years ago. I realise that doesn't guarantee anything, but we have the quality to win the Euros," he added.

"I'm not looking at teams such as Spain and Germany. We have to play our own game and believe in ourselves. We've gone far with that attitude in the past."

Netherlands start Euro 2012 with the Group B match against Denmark on June 9.