Soccer-Van der Sar makes Dutch comeback for World Cup qualifiers

ZEIST, Netherlands Fri Oct 3, 2008 12:00pm BST

ZEIST, Netherlands Oct 3 (Reuters) - Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is making a brief Dutch comeback for this month's World Cup qualifiers to help out in an injury crisis.

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk included Van der Sar, who retired from international football after Euro 2008, in his 22-man squad on Friday for the Group Nine games against Iceland in Rotterdam on Oct. 11 and away to Norway four days later.

Goalkeepers Maarten Stekelenburg of Ajax and Feyenoord's Henk Timmer, who is in the squad, are both nursing injuries.

Van der Sar, capped 128 times, was approached by Van Marwijk and his assistant Frank de Boer for help and decided to make a temporary comeback.

"This week Timmer sustained an injury and later on first choice Stekelenburg's injury proved serious and will keep him sidelined for four to six weeks," Van Marwijk told reporters.

"Together with Frank (de Boer), I called Edwin on Wednesday. He was shocked for a moment but also flattered and answered positively the same day.

"His return to the squad is only for these two matches and with a goalkeeper of his class he will start both matches," added Van Marwijk, whose side beat Macedonia in their opening qualifier in Skopje last month.

Real Madrid's Wesley Sneijder also returns to the squad after being sidelined for two months due to a knee injury he sustained during a pre-season friendly against Arsenal.

Van Marwijk called up Sneijder even though the midfielder has yet to appear for Real this season.

"I spoke about it with Pedrag Mijatovic and Bernd Schuster and they accepted my request," Van Marwijk said, referring to Real's technical director and coach.

"I told them he would join in the training the first week but will not play the first match, while after that week I will decide if he will play against Norway." (Editing by Rex Gowar)

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