Dutch captain Mark van Bommel has announced he is stepping aside at international level to give the younger generation of Dutch players a chance to take the country forward .
The 35-year-old took the decision in the wake of Netherlands' shock early exit from UEFA EURO 2012, where they finished bottom of Group B after losing all three matches.
The Dutch team will always be dear to me, but for now it is time for talented young players.
However, Van Bommel also said he is available for national duty in the future if required. "Perhaps there will come a time when the coach needs or wants me in the future. Then I want to be there," he said on www.www.knvb.nl.
"The Dutch team will always be dear to me, but for now it is time for talented young players. They are there and must now develop at the highest level."
Van Bommel, who joined PSV Eindhoven from AC Milan this summer, has won 79 caps for the Dutch and helped them reach the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Final.