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Van Persie replaces Sneijder as new Dutch captain

Updated: 2013-06-08 13:58

Van Persie replaces Sneijder as new Dutch captain

Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder (R) fights for the ball with Indonesia's Immanuel Wanggai during their friendly soccer match in Jakarta, June 7, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

THE HAGUE - Robin van Persie has been appointed as permanent first captain by Dutch head coach Louis van Gaal, instead of Wesley Sneijder, Van Gaal told Dutch media after the friendly match against Indonesia in Jakarta on Friday.

When Louis van Gaal started his second term as head coach he appointed Sneijder as first captain, Dirk Kuyt as second and Kevin Strootman as third. However, Sneijder was not playing at Inter in the first half of the season and was not fit during the second half at his new club Galatasaray.

"When I was appointed last year I had all the confidence in Sneijder," Van Gaal told Dutch TV channel SBS6. "Now I have that in Van Persie. Sneijder has not been fit for a whole year. He should focus on his own fitness first."

Sneijder was only able to wear the captain's armband during four matches in the past year. Van Persie wore the band for the first time in Jakarta.

The Netherlands beat Indonesia 3-0 through two goals by Siem de Jong and one by Arjen Robben. The Dutch will fly to China on Saturday for next Tuesday's friendly in Beijing.

"The coach asked me last Monday," Van Persie told Dutch TV channel SBS6. "I felt very flattered and really wanted to do it. I felt very honored. Yes, it is intended that I stay captain."

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