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Van Nistelrooy left out of Dutch World Cup roster

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."

There were no major surprises in the 30-man roster, which included Liverpool's Ryan Babel and Dirk Kuyt, along with John Heitinga, Nigel de Jong and Robin van Persie.

Inter Milan's Wesley Sneijder was picked along with Bayern Munich's Mark van Bommel and Arjen Robben. Their teams are in the Champions League final on May 22.

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.

The roster:

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)