AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Ruud van Nistelrooy was left off the Netherlands' preliminary World Cup roster.
Coach Bert van Marwijk said Tuesday the Hamburg forward was now fit but that a long-term absence had ended his chances.
Van Nistelrooy last played for the Oranje at the 2008 European Championship. Though he wanted to play in South Africa, Van Marwijk said he wasn't at his "normal level" because of a knee injury sustained while playing for Real Madrid.
"I have told him that we have intensely followed him and we have admiration for his desire and efforts to go to the World Cup," Van Marwijk said. "As far as I know, Ruud is fit. But there is insufficient time for him to get to his normal levels after his lengthy knee injury."
AC Milan veteran Clarence Seedorf said he was expecting a surprise phone call from Van Marwijk but he didn't get one and was left out. AC Milan teammate Klaas Jan Huntelaar was included.
Goalkeepers: Sander Boschker (Twente), Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Michel Vorm (Utrecht).
Defenders: Vurnon Anita (Ajax), Khalid Boulahrouz (Stuttgart, Germany), Edson Braafheid (Glasgow Celtic, Scotland), John Heitinga (Everton, England), Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg, Germany), Andre Ooijer (PSV Eindhoven), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord)
Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay (PSV Eindhoven), Otman Bakkal (PSV Eindhoven), Wout Brama (Twente), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City, England), Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax), Orlando Engelaar (PSV Eindhoven), David Mendes da Silva (AZ Alkmaar), Stijn Schaars (AZ Alkmaar), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan, Italy), Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich, Germany), Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid, Spain)
Forwards: Ryan Babel (Liverpool, England), Eljero Elia (Hamburg, Germany), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan, Italy), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool, England), Jeremain Lens (AZ Alkmaar), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich, Germany), Robin van Persie (Arsenal, England)