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The 29-year-old has expressed concerns about the Oranje's atmosphere and the physical condition of some of the team's stars going into the Euros

NETHERLANDS
GROUP B
HOW THEY QUALIFIED
P
PTS
 NETHERLANDS 10 27
 SWEDEN
10 24
 HUNGARY 10 19
 FINLAND 10 10
 MOLDOVA 10 9
 SAN MARINO 10 0

EXCLUSIVE

By Floris Koekenbier

Spartak Moscow midfielder Demy de Zeeuw has admitted that he misses playing for the Netherlands national team.

The 29-year-old has been out of the plans of the Oranje since joining Spartak from Ajax last summer in a reported €7 million (£5.6m) deal.

De Zeeuw says that his fitness problems over the years have also played a role in his omission from the national team's set-up, but he remains hopeful about a return in the future.

"My absence has several reasons," De Zeeuw told Goal.com. "Several times, I missed matches because of injuries and I have not been playing regularly in Russia.

"When you are in a situation like mine, you are out of the picture, and coach Bert van Marwijk does not follow the Russian league closely.

"I do not have any contact with him, but I am okay with that.

"It will be really hard to come back to the Oranje.
But on the other hand, it could happen soon. Look at Wilfred Bouma, who is back in again. But I am not expecting anything."


The former AZ and Ajax midfielder then stated that the atmosphere inside the Oranje Euro 2012 camp is very tense, and cast doubt about the physical sharpness of some of the team's most influential figures.

"I miss the spirit in Oranje," he conceded. "At the World Cup in South Africa, we had a group of players who were very eager for success.

"It is hard to judge as an outsider, but it looks to be different now.

"In 2010 almost everyone had played a great season when we came together. Wesley Sneijder was in his best shape, while he has had many injuries this season.

"Arjen Robben has had a difficult time, so I do not know if the team can start sharply.

"Only Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Robin van Persie had a great year. And there is too much discussion around them about who should be the striker.

"For example, I read that Van Marwijk reacted angrily during a press conference when asked about the striking position.

"There are so many discussions around the team, that cannot be good."


Questioned about the favourites for Euro 2012, De Zeeuw thinks that there are several sides who can challenge Netherlands for the title.

"Of course Spain and Germany are favourites, but also Portugal and France," De Zeeuw added.

"I really think France can go far: they have got Karim Benzema, Franck Ribery and Samir Nasri, all world-class players.

"Nobody is talking about them because of their disappointing World Cup, but they are a very strong side who have a shot at the title."


Netherlands will begin their Euro 2012 campaign against Denmark before locking horns with Germany and Portugal.

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