Still, today's match against Hungary served to showcase that Oranje are fit and stand a reasonable chance of making it past the first round, though their next match against Denmark is going to be a tougher nut to crack than this friendly.
I haven't been paying much attention to the run-up to the World Cup, and so was surprised to learn when I sat down to watch the match this afternoon, that Van Nistelrooij hasn't made the selection (although the sports commentators are already speculating that with Robben out for the count, he may be called up after all). That saddened me, as he is one of the players I most like to watch. Also, minutes before the kick-off, Van der Sar was made an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau on the pitch and after receiving a standing ovation, walked off an ex-goalie (that is to say, of the national side only; I do believe he still keeps goal for Man U). I knew he'd retired from the team, but still...seeing him feted made it real, and it made me feel old. Van Bronckhorst has taken over his captain's armband, but after July 11th, he's also retiring from the sport, so that's one more of the old guard leaving. In fact, I don't think there's any one of them left! So I guess now it's up to Van Persie, Van der Vaart and Sneijder to show that the players may change, but Oranje will continue to play attractive football as only Oranje can.
Today, the temperatures soared above 20 degrees and with hardly any wind, it was actually quite nice out. I took the opportunity to treat the balcony, my little outdoor space, with algae killer after which I was covered in green sludge and a touch of sunburn. Hopefully I'll get a chance to make use of the space now that it looks nice and tidy again, although the forecast predicts there's another cold spell on the way, and I don't know that we'll get more than one or two days of summer this year. I still haven't put my winter wardrobe away.