Netherlands midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has been ruled out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup after suffering a calf injury in training session on Tuesday, the Dutch football association KNVB’s confirmed.
The 31-year-old Hamburg midfielder was the most experienced player of coach Louis van Gaal‘s provisional 30-man squad for the summer’s tournament in Brazil. He has 25 goals in 109 international games and played in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
It is said to be thought that the veteran midfielder is likely to be replaced by Feyenoord youngster Tonny Vilhena.
Van der Vaart is the third Dutchman to be ruled out of the squad with an injury, with Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman (knee) and Paris Saint-Germain defender Gregory van der Wiel (tendinitis) on the sidelines.
The final 23-man Netherlands squad is set to be announced on Saturday. They will meet the defending champions Spain on June 13 for their opening Group B fixture followed by Australia (June 18) and Chile (June 23).