Netherlands' Van Bommel ends international career
Kharkiv, Ukraine (Sports Network) - Netherlands captain Mark van Bommel said it was "time for talented young players" to break into the Dutch side, and has announced his retirement from international play.
The 35-year-old started the first two matches for the Netherlands in Euro 2012 and finished his career with 79 caps. He helped the Dutch reach the 2010 World Cup final, an extra-time loss to Spain.
The Netherlands was a disappointment at Euro 2012. It lost all three fixtures in Group B, despite entering the event as one of the favorites. Van Bommel did not play in the final group match against Portugal.
"I don't want to retire," Van Bommel said Wednesday. "Maybe there will be a moment that the coach needs me in the future and then I will be available, but for now it is time for talented young players."
Van Bommel debuted for the Netherlands in 2000, and has played for Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AC Milan. He began his career with Fortuna Sittard and then moved to PSV, where he will return this summer from Milan.