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Page last updated at 20:30 GMT, Monday, 4 August 2008 21:30 UK

Van Nistelrooy quits Dutch set-up

Ruud van Nistelrooy
Van Nistelrooy made his international farewell at Euro 2008

Real Madrid's Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has announced his retirement from international football.

"After studying the schedule of Madrid and the Dutch team I realised playing for both would mean too tough a load for me," said the 32-year-old.

Van Nistelrooy won the first of his 64 caps in 1998 and is the team's third highest all-time scorer with 33 goals.

He missed Euro 2000 through injury but played and scored at Euro 2004 and 2008 and also the 2006 World Cup.

His decision came as a surprise to new national team coach Bert van Marwijk, who succeeded Marco van Basten as national team coach on 1 July.

"I had a comprehensive conversation with Ruud and I can do nothing else but respect his decision," said van Marwijk.

"I regret it that I can't use his quality and experience when I compose my squad but I wish him all the best at Real Madrid."

Van Nistelrooy made his name at PSV Eindhoven, where he suffered a serious knee injury, before moving to Manchester United for a then- British record fee of 19m in 2001.

He had five successful years at Old Trafford before moving to Madrid in July 2006 for 10.2m.

The Dutch are up against Scotland, Norway, Macedonia and Iceland in World Cup qualifying Group 9.


see also
Dutch form shocks Van Nistelrooy
13 Jun 08 |  Netherlands
Ruud revisits spat with Ferguson
17 Feb 07 |  Man Utd
Van Nistelrooy seals Madrid move
28 Jul 06 |  Man Utd
Ruud's Man Utd career in photos
14 Jul 06 |  Photo Galleries
Ruud happy to be at Man Utd
27 Apr 01 |  Man Utd


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