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Euro 2008

Dutchman Babel will miss Euro finals

  • Story Highlights
  • Dutch winger Ryan Babel is out of the Euro 2008 finals
  • He suffered an ankle injury in training for the friendly against Wales
  • He has torn ligaments and faces a layoff of several weeks
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(CNN) -- The Netherlands suffered a major setback when Liverpool winger Ryan Babel was ruled out of the European Championship finals after suffering an ankle injury in training.

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Babel's injury occurred in training for the Netherlands' final pre-Euro 2008 warm-up.

The Dutch were preparing for their final warm-up match, against Wales in Rotterdam on Sunday, when Babel tore ligaments in an ankle.

It was expected that the injury would keep Babel out of action for several weeks.

Coach Marco van Basten named defender Khalid Boulahrouz of Spanish outfit Sevilla as Babel's replacement in the squad.

The Netherlands are in Group C, along with World Cup finalists Italy and France, and Romania.

Van Basten has called for an all-out attacking display against Wales, who crashed 7-1 when the teams last met, in Eindhoven 12 years ago. In fact the Welsh have tasted defeat on all five previous meetings with the Dutch.

Van Basten expressed himself dissatisfied with Thursday's 1-1 draw against Denmark, saying: "We must be more clinical and take our chances. This team has matured over the last two years and everywhere the expectation is so much higher, not surprisingly.

"But we cannot allow ourselves to let teams off the hook when we are making chances and on top."

Before Babel's mishap an Basten had reduced his squad to 23 after Wigan defender Mario Melchiot proved his recovery from a groin problem.

The three players discarded were keeper Sander Boschker, Denny Landzaat and Khalid Boulahrouz.

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