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THE NETHERLANDS’ TOP PLAYER SAYS HE WON’T PLAY IN WORLD CUP

SHARE THE NETHERLANDS’ TOP PLAYER SAYS HE WON’T PLAY IN WORLD CUP

Ruud Gullit has had enough of the Netherlands national team and says he won't play in this summer's World Cup.

Gullit said Monday during a news conference at Noordwijk, Netherlands that he won't give a reason for his departure until after the World Cup. With Gullit sitting next to him, Dutch coach Dick Advocaat said he regretted the decision and didn't know what was behind it."Everybody has to make decisions, but I think he has chosen a bad time to do it," teammate Ronald Koeman said. "He's a very important player, but we must now go on."

Gullit, 31, returned to his home in Italy on Monday with Marco Van Basten, his teammate on the national team and AC Milan, who is missing the World Cup because of an ankle injury.

Gullit had returned to the national team Friday after a 13-month absence and played in a 3-1 victory over Scotland. He hadn't played for the Netherlands since April 28, 1993, because of disagreements with Advocaat but the two patched up their differences this spring.

Gullit played the second half Friday, galvanizing the Dutch side into its best form in months, and set up Bryan Roy's opening goal.

After the match, Gullit criticized the attacking Dutch strategy, saying the team would have to play more defensively in the World Cup. Advocaat responded by saying that he, not Gullit, was responsible for tactical decisions.

Gullit has played 65 games for the Dutch national team and was captain of the team in 1988 when it won the European Championship. He made his international debut in 1981.

In other World Cup news Monday, Belgium lost 1-0 to FC Sete of the French third division, prompting criticism for Belgium coach Paul Van Himst.

Luc Nilis, a Belgian forward who scored 25 goals for Anderlecht last season, agreed Monday to a three-year contract with PSV Eindhoven of the Netherlands.

In Yaounde, Cameroon announced that 42-year-old Roger Milla will be part of its World Cup team. Milla came out of retirement to join the Indominatable Lions four years ago, and scored four goals as Cameroon became the first African team to reach the quarterfinals.

In Bologna, Italy, Brazil was the overwhelming choice to win the World Cup in a survey of Italian sportwriters.

Guerin Sportivo, a weekly sports magazine, said 52 of 100 writers surveyed predicted Brazil, 27 predicted Italy and 11 predicted defending champion Germany.

Roberto Baggio of Italy and Romario of Brazil were picked as the potential stars and leading scorers.

In Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin thought it was pretty cool to meet Diego Maradona because it reminded him of his own soccer-playing youth. Maradona thought it was pretty cool to meet Rabin because it reminded him of another great figure he'd met.

"I don't get excited easily, but when I shook his hands I was excited, like when I was meeting Fidel Castro," Maradona said of Monday's meeting, a day before Argentina played Israel in an exhibition game.