Ruud van Nistelrooy has retired from international football. The Real Madrid striker feels it’s impossible to combine his club obligations with playing for Oranje.
‘After studying the programs of Real Madrid and The Netherlands, I came to the conclusion that I had to make a choice,’ said Van Nistelrooy on the KNVB website.
‘It’s very tough to play Champions League, national cup, national competition and play for your country. I’m at the age that I’m no longer physical capable of playing that much matches.’
‘I’ve thought about this over and over again and this is the only possible decision for me. Participating in Euro 2008 was the perfect way to end my international career.’
The prolific striker already spoke with Bert van Marwijk, who reacted very surprised. ‘I spoke with Ruud for a long time and I have to respect his decision,’ said Van Marwijk.
‘It’s a shame that Ruud is no longer available for Oranje. He’s a world-class player and would be very useful with his experience and qualities.’
Van Nistelrooy scored 33 times in 64 appearances for Oranje. His last match was the quarter final of Euro 2008 against Russia.
The striker was unavailable for the national time for a time due to problems with coach Marco van Basten. However, after a good conversation he returned to the national squad and made it to the final squad for Euro 2008.