Wijnaldum and Cillessen in Dutch squad for Euro qualifiers
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Former Netherlands captain Georginio Wijnaldum and discarded goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen were both named by new coach Ronald Koeman in his first squad since taking over from Louis van Gaal.
Koeman, back for a second spell as coach, on Friday named a preliminary squad of 37 players for the European Championship qualifiers against France and Gibraltar later this month.
The 32-year-old Wijnaldum, who has 86 caps, returns after a broken leg in August meant he missed the World Cup in Qatar, though his place was in doubt as he was not a regular first team starter at Paris St Germain. He is now on loan at AS Roma.
Cillessen, 33 and with 63 caps, was dropped from last year’s World Cup squad in a surprise move by Van Gaal.
The Feyenoord trio of Lutsharel Geertruida, Quilindschy Hartman and Mats Wieffer all get a first call up as their club sit atop the Dutch league, while Anderlecht goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen is also included for the first time.
Daley Blind, 33, is also included and can win his 100th cap when the Dutch meet France in Paris on March 24. They play Gibraltar in Rotterdam three days later.
The 32-year-old striker Luuk de Jong, however, on Friday announced his retirement from international football after winning 39 caps since his debut in 2011.
"I was somewhat surprised when Luuk called me yesterday with the news that he was no longer available for the Dutch national team," Koeman said in a Dutch FA statement.
“But I understand his explanation that he wants to concentrate 100% on PSV Eindhoven. We're going to miss him, both on the field and in the squad.”
Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (NEC Nijmegen), Mark Flekken (Freiburg), Andries Noppert (Heerenveen), Kjell Scherpen (Vitesse Arnhem), Bart Verbruggen (Anderlecht)
Defenders: Nathan Ake (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Bayern Munich), Sven Botman (Newcastle United), Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich), Stefan de Vrij, Denzel Dumfries (both Inter Milan), Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen), Lutsharel Geertruida, Quilindschy Hartman (both Feyenoord), Tyrell Malacia (Manchester United), Kenny Tete (Fulham), Jurrien Timber (Ajax Amsterdam), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Midfielders: Steven Berghuis (Ajax Amsterdam), Jordy Clasie (AZ Alkmaar), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern Munich), Davy Klaassen (Ajax Amsterdam), Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta), Kenneth Taylor (Ajax Amsterdam), Joey Veerman (PSV Eindhoven), Mats Wieffer (Feyenoord), Georginio Wijnaldum (AS Roma)
Forwards: Steven Bergwijn, Brian Brobbey (both Ajax Amsterdam), Memphis Depay (Atletico Madrid), Cody Gakpo (Liverpool), Vincent Janssen (Royal Antwerp), Noa Lang (Club Brugge), Xavi Simons (PSV Eindhoven), Wout Weghorst (Manchester United)
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris)