Veteran goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen was a surprise omission from the Netherlands’ Fifa World Cup squad announced by coach Louis van Gaal on Friday.
Cillessen, 33, who rejoined his old club NEC Nijmegen from Valencia in August to improve his chances of selection, was dropped in favour of Feyenoord’s Justin Bijlow, Ajax’s Remko Pasveer and the surprise inclusion of Heerenveen’s Andries Noppert, the Dutch football federation announced in a statement.
Meanwhile the straight-talking Van Gaal also said that star striker Memphis Depay had not yet recovered from injury and was unlikely to be in the starting line-up.
Cillessen, who made his debut for the Oranje in 2013, also featured in the team that finished third in the 2014 World Cup under Van Gaal, nicknamed the “Iron Tulip” because of his no-nonsense approach to management.
“I don’t know if you’ve watched any of Cillessen’s games. He has not been in form over the last few weeks. And the World Cup is now,” Van Gaal told journalists at a press conference at the Dutch federation’s headquarters in Zeist.
In total Cillessen has 63 appearances for his country and was also in the training squad before last year’s European Championship – but was then dropped in favour of another veteran Maarten Stekelenburg after contracting Covid-19.
Dutch media reported…