Strootman: Netherlands no longer the team from 2010 World Cup

The versatile midfielder has admitted that the Dutch are no longer one of the best teams in the world, while he's determined to iron out the flaws of his game
Kevin Strootman has voiced his opinion that Netherlands have lost a lot of quality since making it to the final at the 2010 World Cup, but is confident they will make up for it with a good attitude.

The PSV midfielder has become a key player for Oranje under national team coach Louis van Gaal, and he is adamant that they will be back among the world's finest teams when it matters most at the 2014 World Cup.

"We all know that Oranje were a great team at the World Cup. However, some of the players who were among the European top are no longer with the team," Strootman told De Telegraaf.

"We have some players who are on the rise, but who aren't there just yet. We can make up for this loss in quality by playing with our heart.

"However, we shouldn't exaggerate things too much. The guys who are among the experienced players now were not stars yet fours ago, either.

"We have two more years till the World Cup. We have to be at our best by then."

Strootman will become Oranje's youngest ever captain ever in a competitive match in Friday's qualifier against Andorra, and the midfielder is determined to live up the expectations.

"Things are going very fast and this happens with highs and lows. That's typical for a young player, but I don't want to hide behind my age.

"There's no room for excuses when you have already made numerous Eredivisie appearances and have made 13 international appearances.

"I have to limit the lows, and make sure I always reach a certain level."

Friday's encounter at De Kuip kicks off at 20:30CET.