Maarten Stekelenburg retires from Dutch national team

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Maarten Stekelenburg has decided to retire from the Dutch national team. The goalkeeper wants to be able to fully focus on Ajax this season.

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The 38-year-old has had a fulfilling international career. He made his debut for ‘Oranje’ on September 3, 2004, almost seventeen years ago, in a friendly against Liechtenstein. He came on to replace Edwin van der Sar at halftime in that match.

In the years that followed, Stekelenburg participated in several final tournaments with the Dutch national team. At the 2006 World Cup and the 2008 European Championship, he acted as second goalkeeper behind Van der Sar. In 2010, he was the first goalkeeper, playing a serious role in achieving a place in the final at the World Cup in Brazil. Stekelenburg was also in the starting eleven at the European Championship that followed in 2012.

A final farewell
After a period of absence, the Ajax man returned to the national team last season. As the starting keeper for the team, he featured in all four matches at the 2020 European Championship. After 63 international appearances, Stekelenburg is now calling an end to his long career as an international.

Stekelenburg on a pleasant farewell to his international career: "The European Championship was a nice way to end it. After that tournament, I talked to my manager Rob Jansen about my future with the national team and we came to the conclusion that this was my last tournament. I will be 39 years old next month and it is important for me to rest during the international breaks. I can look back on my time with ‘Oranje’ as wonderful."

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