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Robben keen on captaincy

Holland winger Arjen Robben admits it will be a special moment if he is handed the captaincy for this weekend''s friendly against Japan.

The captaincy is something special.

I may have done it before a few times but that was only after half-time when Robin had come off the pitch. Now it is likely to be from the start.

This will be a unique moment. Playing for Holland is the ultimate for a Dutch player and if you are then made captain on the pitch, it gives you a feeling of pride.

– Arjen Robben speaking to De Telegraaf

RVP out of Dutch games

Robin van Persie will be rested during the international break. Credit: PA

Robin van Persie has pulled out of the Holland squad due to toe and groin injuries.

The striker played 85 minutes and scored the winner as Manchester United beat his former club Arsenal on Sunday but he has been deemed not fit enough for the international double-header over the next week.

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Hungary boss Egervori quits after Dutch humiliation

Hungary manager Sandor Egervori had his offer of resignation accepted after his side's 8-1 loss to Holland.

Egervori's men were well placed to qualify for the World Cup play-offs prior to the clash, starting the night in second, but they ended it wounded and in fourth.

Italy and Holland book places in Brazil

Italy and Holland became the first European teams to book their places at next summer's World Cup finals.

Italy had to come from behind to seal their place with two games to spare after former Lazio frontman Libor Kozak fired Czech Republic ahead after 19 minutes in Turin.

Giorgio Chellini headed the Azzurri level on 52 minutes, when Petr Cech failed to deal with a corner, before Mario Balotelli stroked home the winning penalty moments later.

Robin van Persie sent Holland through to Brazil with a second-half double in a 2-0 win over Andorra.

After Turkey beat Romania 2-0 in Bucharest earlier in the evening, the Dutch knew victory would be enough to confirm their place in the World Cup finals.

Van Gaal blames draw on tiredness

Kevin Strootman and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored as Holland and Portugal drew 1-1. Credit: PA

Louis van Gaal felt his Holland players tired during their draw with Portugal.

"In the first half we created as many chances as Portugal did," he said.

"After the break we had possession and played very badly. We could not hold the ball and we saw the candle going out with some of the guys."

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