Netherlands captain Frank de Boer will undergo a scan today to determine the extent of the ankle injury he sustained in last night's quarter-final victory against Sweden, although he seems certain to miss Wednesday's semi-final against Portugal.
The 34-year-old damaged his ankle in a 30th-minute challenge on Fredrik Ljungberg, picking up a yellow card as well as an injury which threatens to signal the end of his national-team career. De Boer is expected to retire after UEFA EURO 2004™, meaning he will have played his 112th and final international if he fails to appear at the Estádio José Alvalade and the Dutch lose.
"At this time we're not certain how bad the damage is exactly," Royal Netherlands Football Association press officer Pedro Salazar told euro2004.com. "Bearing in mind the pain he is in, it looks like he will not be able to play on Wednesday. However, as things can happen quickly in football, we have to stay positive."
De Boer took advantage of an injury to Wilfred Bouma to start his first match of the finals against Latvia on Wednesday, retaining his place for last night's penalties win against Sweden. "I couldn't bear to look and only saw the decisive penalty from Arjen Robben," said De Boer. "We have really bonded as a team during this tournament, as have Portugal. They have players with the quality to settle a match on their own."
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