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Boulahrouz fails to make van Basten´s Euro grade

SoccerNews in European Championships 27 May 2008

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Hardman defender Khalid Boulahrouz was the unlucky player on Tuesday as Dutch coach Marco van Basten decided he was excess to demands and cut him from his final squad for the upcoming Euro 2008 championships.

Boulahrouz, who plays for Spanish side Sevilla having had an undistinguished spell at Premiership outfit Chelsea, paid the price for the return to fitness of veteran duo Mario Melchiot and Andre Ooijer.

The Dutch – who will be bidding to add to the European title won in 1988 with van Basten instrumental as a player in that side – are in Group C or the Group of Death as every championship seems to have to have these days.

They begin their campaign against world champions Italy on June 9, take on World Cup finalists France on June 13 and round off their first round campaign against dark horses Romania on June 17.

All the 16 finalists definitive squads have to be lodged with UEFA on Wednesday.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United/ENG), Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Henk Timmer (Feyenoord)

Defenders: Wilfred Bouma (Aston Villa/ENG), Tim de Cler (Feyenoord), John Heitinga (Ajax), Joris Mathijsen (HSV Hamburg/GER), Mario Melchiot (Wigan Athletic/ENG), Andre Ooijer (Blackburn Rovers/ENG)

Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay (PSV Eindhoven), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), Orlando Engelaar (FC Twente Enschede), Nigel de Jong (HSV Hamburg/GER), Wesley Sneijder (Real Madrid/ESP), Rafael van der Vaart (HSV Hamburg), Demy de Zeeuw (AZ Alkmaar)

Forwards: Ryan Babel (Liverpool/ENG), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Ajax), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool/ENG), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid/ESP), Robin van Persie (Arsenal/ENG), Arjen Robben (Real Madrid/ESP), Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (Celtic/SCO).

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