Wesley Sneijder named captain of Dutch football team

Updated: Aug 16, 2012, 09:59 AM IST

The Hague: Wesley Sneijder has replaced Mark van Bommel as the new captain of the Dutch football team, head coach Louis van Gaal announced ahead of Wednesday`s friendly match against Belgium in Brussels.

Van Bommel announced his retirement from the national team after the early exit at Euro 2012. The 28-year-old Sneijder has played 87 internationals and was being considered as the natural leader of the team, reports Xinhua.

Van Gaal also announced to opt for a 4-3-3 system, instead of the 4-2-3-1 of his predecessor Bert van Marwijk. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will be his first choice as central striker, while Robin van Persie has to settle for a place on the bench.

"Van Persie and Huntelaar should fight for their place," Van Gaal said during a press conference. "But at this moment I choose Huntelaar, because Van Persie has shown too little at that position, while Huntelaar performed well."

Van Gaal also revealed his line-up for the match against Belgium. He will start with debutant Ricardo van Rhijn of Ajax as right-back, while in the second half Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi, Nick Viergever and Adam Maher will play for the national side for the first time.