THE HAGUE, Aug 15 (IANS): Wesley Sneijder has replaced Mark van Bommel as the new captain of the Dutch football team, head coach Louis van Gaal announced ahead of Wednesday's friendly match against Belgium in Brussels.
Van Bommel announced his retirement from the national team after the early exit at Euro 2012. The 28-year-old Sneijder has played 87 internationals and was being considered as the natural leader of the team, reports Xinhua.
Van Gaal also announced to opt for a 4-3-3 system, instead of the 4-2-3-1 of his predecessor Bert van Marwijk. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will be his first choice as central striker, while Robin van Persie has to settle for a place on the bench.
"Van Persie and Huntelaar should fight for their place," Van Gaal said during a press conference. "But at this moment I choose Huntelaar, because Van Persie has shown too little at that position, while Huntelaar performed well."
Van Gaal also revealed his line-up for the match against Belgium. He will start with debutant Ricardo van Rhijn of Ajax as right-back, while in the second half Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi, Nick Viergever and Adam Maher will play for the national side for the first time.