Frank de Boer has spoken about his decision to drop Ryan Babel and Kevin Strootman from the provisional Netherlands squad for the European Championships.

De Boer announced his provisional Netherlands squad on Friday and surprisingly the name of Ryan Babel was missing, along with Kevin Strootman.

Speaking to Ons Oranje, De Boer said on Babel and Strootman’s exclusion, “Difficult choices? Yes, certainly difficult choices. Especially on a personal level. I have always worked fantastically with Ryan (also at Ajax), With Kevin of course a little less.”

De Boer knows it is difficult for Babel, “I know he was really looking forward to it. So on a personal level it is very difficult to make a choice. That is why I just call those guys personally, that there is currently no room for him in the selection.”

De Boer didn’t include Babel in the provisional squad which will take part in a training camp because he knows he won’t be coming to the tournament, “To say at that moment: you are not there …”,

“That did not seem appropriate for him. That is why I communicated it that way. You always do that in a personal conversation, but they are not the easiest and most enjoyable conversations.”

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