Edwin comes to Ruud's rescue
Edwin Van der Sar claims he is the one to thank for resurrecting team-mate Ruud Van Nistelrooy's international career
By Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 08/06/08 1:33pm
Edwin Van der Sar claims he is the one to thank for resurrecting Dutch team-mate Ruud Van Nistelrooy's international career.
The ex-Manchester United striker was axed from the Holland squad after a bust-up with boss Marco van Basten.
But United's number one has said he persuaded van Basten to sort out their differences and recall the Real Madrid star.
Two years after quitting international football, the 31-year-old forward is set to lead Holland's attack in their opening Euro 2008 clash against Italy in Group C.
"As captain of the national team, it is one of my duties to pick up signs from the team and express them to van Basten," the 37-year-old keeper told the News of the World.
"For some time, the Van Nistelrooy row was a subject the players discussed with me. I thought I could speak up and give my assessment of it.
"It was never, ever an attack on the coach - it was more a backing up of Ruud.
"I didn't understand it but I'm not the coach. But when Ruud was selected again, I though it was a good thing that van Basten had acted on our discussion," he said.
The row erupted when Van Nistelrooy saw a TV interview with the Dutch manager where he said he felt the striker was not playing well and considered replacing him with Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt.
The former PSV forward went to see his national boss privately and demanded an apology in front of the squad, but when van Basten did nothing at the next training session, Van Nistelrooy "lost his temper and screamed" at him.
The Dutch squad has seen plenty of bust-ups with van Basten after Clarence Seedorf quit because of lack of first-team opportunities and Mark van Bommel has refused to play again internationally while he is in charge.
Despite the setbacks, including winger Arjen Robben being ruled out of the clash against the current World champions through injury, Van der Sar will pick up his 125th cap and has high ambitions for the national side.
"I love a challenge. If I want to achieve something with Holland, then it must happen now."