Wesley Sneijder will pull on an Oranje jersey for the final time when Netherlands hosts Peru in a friendly at the Johan Cruyff ArenA on Thursday. Kick-off in Amsterdam is 7.45pm.

The all-time leading Netherlands cap holder announced his retirement from international football in March this year and was granted a final farewell match by Ronald Koeman. Sneijder will earn his 134th and final cap for Netherlands against Peru with Koeman already confirming that the midfielder will play at least an hour.

Koeman will also use the tie as a warm-up for the start of the UEFA Nations League with Netherlands facing World Champions France in Paris on Sunday. Since the 55-year-old took over, Netherlands have won one, drawn two and lost one of their last four friendly matches but he will be hoping to book his first home victory against Peru.

Koeman told his press conference on Wednesday, “It is a friendly match, but a nice and important one. Peru is a good opponent. They were at the World Cup, not us. Moreover, we play against the world champion a few days later, we prepare for that. This is a new project, with qualification for the Euro 2020 as a goal.”

The South American’s gained plenty of fans at the World Cup after playing some great football despite exiting in the group stages. Peru was unlucky in defeat to Denmark, just lost to eventual champions France, and beat Australia during the tournament.

Thoughts for Peru now turn to the Copa America with head coach Ricardo Gareca looking to get his team ready for the tournament which takes place in Brazil next summer.

Team News

Koeman is likely to use the fixture to test out his formation for the game against France with Netherlands set to line-up in a 5-3-2 formation. Sneijder is guaranteed at least an hour, while Ajax sensation Frenkie de Jong will be hoping to make his debut.

Luuk de Jong is the only recognised centre-forward in the squad but for the last few friendlies, Koeman has gone with Memphis Depay alongside either Quincy Promes or Ryan Babel in a two-man attack. In defence, Virgil van Dijk will captain the side while Koeman will have to decide whether Jeroen Zoet or Jasper Cillessen will start in goal.

Possible Netherlands line-up: Cillessen, Janmaat, van Aanholt, Van Dijk, De Ligt, Blind, Wijnaldum, Strootman, Sneijder, Memphis, Promes

Peru are without star striker Paolo Guerrero and Feyenoord midfielder Renato Tapia but have included five players looking to make their international debut’s. Goalkeeper Patricio Álvarez, defender Johan Madrid, midfielders Horacio Calcaterra and Marcos López, and striker Ray Sandoval could all earn their first caps.

Former PSV striker Jefferson Farfan is with the squad.

Possible Peru line-up (4-2-3-1): Gallese; Advincula, Ramos, Santamaria, Trauco; Yotun, Aquino; Carrillo, Cueva, Flores, Farfan

Previous Meetings

Netherlands and Peru have met on three occasions with Netherlands winning twice and drawing once. Their last meeting came in October 1998 with Oranje running out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Peter van Vossen and Jaap Stam.

Odds

Netherlands 8/13 Draw 13/5 Peru 5/1

Players to Watch

Frenkie de Jong

If you are a keen watcher of Dutch football then you will know all about De Jong, who has made a big impact with Ajax since last season. The midfielder with excellent dribbling ability and passing range was heavily linked with Barcelona this summer but the 21-year-old continues to impress with Ajax and will look to make his Oranje debut over the next week.

Called a cross between Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta, De Jong is one of the future stars of the Dutch national team and the match against Peru may be the start of an excellent international career.

Jefferson Farfan

Farfan made a name for himself during a four-year spell with PSV Eindhoven, where he made 170 appearances and scored 67 goals before leaving for Schalke in 2008. Since then the speedy forward had a spell with Al Jazira and is currently with Lokomotiv Moscow.

The 33-year-old may not be as quick as he once was but he is still a key member of the Peru squad and should start up front on Thursday evening. In 86 caps for his country, Farfan has contributed 25 goals.

Wesley Sneijder

The midfielder has been an excellent servant to the Dutch national team and Thursday should be an emotional occasion for Sneijder as he pulls on the Oranje jersey for the 134th and final time.

The playmaker was behind Netherlands run to the World Cup final in 2010, while also impressing at Euro 08 and the 2014 World Cup. In recent years its become apparent that the 34-year-old is no longer the player he once was but he has always given 100% and didn’t shy away during the failed Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup campaigns.

In his hour against Peru, Sneijder will be eager to put on a show and end his international career in style.

133 caps for Netherlands, 31 goals and 33 assists.




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