Lazio centre-back Stefan de Vrij insists he didn’t snub a Netherlands call-up - “I won’t be able to train this week”.
The defender had been out injured, but he made his comeback in the win over Sassuolo, causing some controversy in his homeland given he won’t play in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
“After the Sassuolo game my groin became very rigid, I won’t be able to train this week,” De Vrij insisted to ad.nl.
“My missed call-up for the Netherlands has been the subject of discussion but it’s really quite simple: I was struggling a lot with my physical problem.
“I called [Dutch team medic] doctor Edwin Goedhart last week and I told him I wasn’t fit. I told him Lazio would give me another scan in Italy to see if I could play or not.
“I wasn’t called-up on Friday because I’d made it clear I wasn’t fit, and that I didn’t know if I’d play for my club.
“When the MRI came back fine on Friday, I immediately told them I’d probably be on the pitch, even though I only trained with the team on Saturday.
“Then against Sassuolo I asked to be subbed because I couldn’t play on.
“The people who say I’m not dedicated to Holland? They’re stupid, it’s a pleasure for me to play for the Netherlands and those who know me, know that.
“I understand that a lot of people don’t understand what’s happening, but if I’d been called by the national team after the Sassuolo match it would have meant I couldn’t train with the group until Thursday, which certainly wouldn’t have been ideal.”
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