Danny Blind has named Arjen Robben as the Netherlands’ captain for the forthcoming European Championship qualifying matches against Iceland and Turkey.
Blind, who took over from Guus Hiddink as national coach last month, has decided to give the armband to Bayern Munich playmaker Robben instead of previous skipper Robin van Persie, who has agreed to become vice-captain.
Blind told the knvb website: “I have not made this choice based on their soccer skills.
“In the guidance and coaching of teammates Van Persie and Robben are not inferior to each other – but they are two different personalities and right now I need a leader with (Robben’s) on-field presence.”
“I consider it a great honor that the coach has asked me to be captain and will fulfill this role with great pride and responsibility.
“But I also want to emphasise that we should do it right, all together. We have a common goal – to make the European Championships. “
Fenerbahce striker Van Persie added: “I have had a good talk with the coach, who indicated his understanding to choose his own captain in this new project.
“I’ve always said Arjen, I and the other guys did it together. I will fill the role of vice-captain with pride. I will always give everything for my country.”
The Netherlands — who are third in Group A, five points adrift of Iceland and three points behind the Czech Republic — face the pacesetters next Thursday before taking on Turkey in Konya three days later.
Ajax defenders Jairo Riedewald and Kenny Tete have been named in a 23-man squad for the matches.
Holland squad: Afellay (Stoke), Anita (Newcastle), Blind (Man Utd), Bruma (PSV), Cillessen (Ajax), Depay (Man Utd), Huntelaar (Schalke), de Jong (PSV), Klaassen (Ajax), Kongolo (Feyenoord), Krul (Newcastle), Martins Indi (Porto), Narsingh (PSV), van Persie (Fenerbahçe), Promes (Spartak Moscow), Riedewald (Ajax), Robben (Bayern Munich), Sneijder (Galatasaray), Tete (Ajax), de Vrij (Lazio), van der Wiel (Paris St Germain), Wijnaldum (Newcastle), Zoet (PSV).
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