Netherlands boss Danny Blind has explained why Sporting Lisbon left back Marvin Zeegelaar has been given his first call-up.

  • By James Rowe
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d-blind-oBlind announced his squad on Friday for the upcoming friendly with Belgium and the World Cup qualifier with Luxembourg. Zeegelaar was the surprise name in the announcement, with the Sporting left back given his first chance in Oranje.

Speaking at his press conference, Blind said on Zeegelaar, ”I can imagine that some people would raise their eyebrows regarding the name of Marvin Zeegelaar in the squad but I know him well from my time as head of the youth policy at Ajax. He went on to play for Excelsior Rotterdam and also in Turkey and Spain. He managed to get a great transfer to Sporting Lisbon from Rio Ave.

”The last 6 weeks he has played against Borussia Dortmund twice and Real Madrid as well as playing in a good Portuguese league. He played as a left back even though he is a left winger by trade therefore he can use his offensive qualities to the full.”

Looking ahead to the upcoming games, Blind added, ”The game against Belgium is important for the prestige and ranking but the most important game of the two is Luxembourg and getting 3 points against them. I would have much preferred a full week of preparation for the Luxembourg game. It is often the case that you have a friendly and a qualifying game for other reasons that are also important such as the commercial aspect but the Belgium game is also an opportunity to take a look at other players.

”I am not planning to make to many changes for the Belgium game. I am aware of players that are in certain regimes as regards to coming back from injury. I already know what 4 players I plan to give 45 minutes to an hour to. I play to play a strong team from the start with the exception of Arjen Robben because he has only just returned for Bayern Munich.”

James Rowe (696 Posts)