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Netherlands' Van Bommel steps aside

Netherlands midfielder Mark van Bommel has called time on his international career after the Oranje's exit from UEFA EURO 2012, saying "it is time for talented young players."

Mark van Bommel is not set to add to his 79 Netherlands caps
Mark van Bommel is not set to add to his 79 Netherlands caps ©AFP/Getty Images

Mark van Bommel has ended his international career in the aftermath of the Netherlands' early exit from UEFA EURO 2012.

Van Bommel started both of the Oranje's opening two Group B games as captain but was an unused substitute for their final fixture – a 2-1 defeat by Portugal which left them bottom of the section without a point. The midfielder, who won 79 caps, announced on Wednesday that he is not set to appear again for his country.

"I don't want to retire," said Van Bommel, 35. "Maybe there will be a moment that the coach needs me in the future and then I will be available, but for now it is time for talented young players."

Van Bommel, who counts FC Barcelona and AC Milan among his former clubs, has agreed to return to PSV Eindhoven in his homeland for next season.