As Roma's Dutch international midfielder Kevin Strootman will miss the World Cup after being ruled out for the rest of the season with ruptured knee ligaments, the Serie A Club said on Monday.
Rome: The 24-year-old will undergo surgery on his left knee and the recovery period could take between four and six months.
"It's a small catastrophe," Dutch coach Louis van Gaal was quoted as saying on the Netherlands Football Federation website, "because Kevin was in his best form for both the national team and Roma."
Van Gaal added: "(It is) an enormous loss for the Netherlands because he contributed largely to qualification, but my thoughts are first with him before thinking about the team because it's terrible for him, it's a dream that has slipped away"
Strootman initially suffered a knock in the Netherlands' international friendly with France last week. He was in Roma's starting line-up against Napoli on Sunday but collapsed in the 12th minute and was carried off on a stretcher. Strootman had reportedly been a target of English Premier League side Manchester United for next season.
The World Cup takes place in Brazil from June 12-July 13 with the Netherlands in Group B with Spain, Chile and Australia.