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Official: Barcelona duo named in the Netherlands’ World Cup squad

As we get closer and closer to the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, more teams are announcing their squads for the tournament. The latest nation to do so are the Netherlands, with Barcelona duo Memphis Depay and Frenkie de Jong included in the list by manager Louis van Gaal.

The Oranje are undergoing a bit of a resurgence after missing out on qualification for the previous World Cup in 2018. With Van Gaal at the helm, things are looking up for the Dutch national team and the inclusions of de Jong and Depay hardly come as a surprise.

The Barcelona pair are a crucial part of the former Barcelona and Manchester United manager’s setup with the Netherlands national team. Both are permanent fixtures when fit and available and will have a key role to play if the Oranje are to go the distance.

De Jong had a slow start to the season at Barça after a summer filled with speculations over his future. However, the 25-year-old has regained prominence in Xavi’s side and has been one of the club’s top performers in the period leading to the World Cup.

As for Depay, the striker has not played a game since picking up a thigh injury while on international duty with the Netherlands back in September.

There has been an element of suspicion that the 28-year-old was delaying his recovery in order to avoid any risk of further injuries by playing for Barcelona before the World Cup, although he had recently blasted those accusations.

Either way, Depay and de Jong become the latest Barça players to have been confirmed as participants in the World Cup after Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Ousmane Dembele and Jules Kounde.

Loanees Ez Abde and Sergino Dest have also been called up Morocco and the USMNT, respectively, while Ronald Araujo is also part of the Uruguay squad despite still being injured.

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