Robin van Persie replaces Wesley Sneijder as Oranje captain

The decision by national football squad coach Louis van Gaal to demote captain Wesley Sneijder came as a surprise to the midfielder, who now plays for Turkish side Galatasaray.

‘It is a painful decision and one which I did not see coming,’ Sneijder told the Telegraaf. ‘I have always tried to fulfill the role of captain as well as I can.’

Sneijder has been hit by fitness issues and, according to some reports, Van Gaal wants to allow him to concentrate fully on recovery ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Van Gaal told Sneijder of his decision to name Robin van Persie captain during the squad’s training session in Hoenderloo, ahead of a trip to Asia. Oranje plays China on Tuesday.

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