The Netherlands will have to do without midfielder Kevin Strootman at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) has announced.
Capped 25 times, Strootman sustained a knee injury 11 minutes into Sunday's Serie A match between his AS Roma side and SSC Napoli, with a scan on Monday confirming the 24-year-old has torn cruciate ligaments in his left knee and is expected to be out of action for at least six months.
"This is a situation for Kevin," said Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal after speaking to Strootman. "I can fully understand that he feels his world has collapsed right now. For his club, Roma, and for the Oranje, Kevin was looking ahead to a very important period. This is a setback for the Dutch national team too – Kevin made a big contribution to our qualification for the World Cup. We always could rely on him. But it is worst for Kevin personally – his dream has been shattered."
Van Gaal had earlier suggested that Strootman, together with Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben, would be certain choices for his World Cup squad.
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