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Netherlands midfielder Rafael van der Vaart sustained a serious calf injury that made him miss the World Cup for the Netherlands.
Rafael van der vaart is the most experienced player in Louis van Gaal’s dutch squad with 109 international caps. As the intensity of his injury is so severe, making him unable to recover, the dutch coach van Gaal made the decision to leave him out of his squad for the upcoming showpiece event.
The Hamburg captain, van der Vaart picked up the knock in his calf while training in Portugal on Tuesday with rest of the dutch squad and he will be unable to appear in a third World Cup subsequently.
For the Netherlands it is a huge blow indeed after being beaten in the final of South Africa World Cup, 2010. Netherlands also miss another star Kevin Strootman, who has not recovered from a torn cruciate ligament he sustained in early March.
Van der Vaart in the 2013-14 club campaign made 27 Bundesliga appearances as Hamburg captain. He scored 7 goals and bagged 6 assists in the league. Rafael van der Vaart will be desperately hoping that this is the last injury-setback for the squad as the Dutch team face a tough challenge in the group stages of Brazil World Cup this summer.
In Group B their opponents will be Australia, Chile and the mighty Spain. To whom they lost in the last World Cup final. With their first game against Spain on June 13, they are very much eager not to repeat the 2010 final. They will hope to avoid losing at start of the tournament that it may put them on the back foot from the off in Brazil and could lead to an early exit.
However, many are hopeful for the Dutch, expecting them to go as far in 2014 as they did in last World Cup. With the stars like Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie, they can hope that for sure.
There is a fear of distraction from the current job for the coach Van Gaal as he recently confirmed to take Manchester United after the season.
Although Van der vaart injury is a big blow for the Dutch, they still possess the quality to make an impact in Brazil. They will be a real opening challenge for Spain at FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil.