Van Bommel rails against Dutch critics
Dutch captain Mark van Bommel launched a broadside at the side's critics on Saturday saying that their criticism was not justified even after losing both their Group B matches at Euro 2012.
The 35-year-old veteran defensive midfielder - who was part of the side that reached the 2010 World Cup final - said the criticism of him was emblematic of the slamming the side have received after losing 1-0 to Denmark and 2-1 to Germany.
It leaves them needing to beat Portugal on Sunday by a two goal margin to have any chance of progressing to the last eight, though should Denmark draw with table-toppers Germany it would make their victory redundant.
"Before I was a hero, now I am nothing more than the son-in-law of (Bert) Van Marwijk," said van Bommel, referring to the fact he is married to the Dutch coach's daughter.
"I read the criticism, and I understand it. But I do not find it justified.
"These past four years, we were kings, and I didn't hear anything (criticism).
"Now we have no value."
Van Bommel in particular has come under fire from several observers, including their Euro 1988 winning captain Ruud Gullit, questioning whether he really still had the physical stamina and attributes for this level.
Van Marwijk has pointed the finger after the two defeats at the gaps between the attack and defence which have been left by van Bommel and Nigel de Jong.
"Age has nothing to do with it. If the gap between the two lines is too big it is not because we are just strolling around the pitch," said van Bommel, who will next season play for a second spell at Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven.
Van Bommel, formerly with Bayern Munich and AC Milan, had said prior to the tournament that he would not retire from international football.
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