THE HAGUE, Netherlands: Netherlands captain, Mark van Bommel, said that he is stepping aside to make way for young players to break into the national team after its woeful European Championship campaign.
Van Bommel further added that he is not officially retiring, and remains available for the team if needed.
The 35-year-old veteran, with 79 international appearances said ''there could be a time in the future when the coach needs to call me up.''
But he made it clear that ''the time is ripe'' for young players to break into the national side.
His comments came days after the Netherlands returned home, following their dismal run of three defeats and elimination at Euro 2012.
Van Bommel was on the bench for the Netherlands' final match, a 2-1 loss to Portugal.