Europe is the place to be this summer with the highly anticipated UEFA Euro 2020 to commence this June all over the continent. The tournament was originally scheduled for last summer, but the coronavirus pandemic played spoilsport as virtually everything on the planet came to a standstill (including all sport-related activities).
— UEFA Nations League (@EURO2024) May 15, 2021
After taking stock of the situation, UEFA decided to shift the continental tournament one year ahead, which means that UEFA Euro 2020 will be held this summer as European footballing royalty play with each other to earn the right to be recognised as champions of Europe.
Some of the beautiful game’s biggest stars will be playing at the tournament to prove their mettle and earn accolades and glory for their national team
But some A-list stars are set to miss out on the chance of representing their nations at the quadrennial tournament. FootTheBall takes a look at all those who are set to miss the opportunity of donning their national colours at UEFA Euro 2020
1. VIRGIL VAN DIJK
The Flying Dutchman is set to miss the marquee tournament this summer after not being able to recover from an anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained in the Merseyside Derby when Everton’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford challenged him for the ball. The 29-year old had to be substituted out of the game and underwent surgery to alleviate the condition.
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) May 12, 2021
The Dutch captain was expected to be sidelined for about six to twelve months, thus putting his participation in UEFA Euro 2020 in doubt. These doubts came true when van Dijk decided against participating in the quadrennial tournament in order to fully recover from the injury. Therefore, he will be a major absentee from this summer’s Euros. Frank de Boer expressed his sympathy with the former Southampton player’s situation
2) JOE GOMEZ
Another high profile absentee at this summer’s Euros is van Dijk’s club teammate Joe Gomez. The 23-year old is considered to be one of the best young English defenders on the planet, but the Liverpool centre-back like the Dutch captain van Dijk will miss UEFA Euro 2020 due to injury concerns.
Gareth Southgate has a real, daunting task at his hands when he sits down to finalise his squad for UEFA Euro 2020, but many pundits think that including Joe Gomez would have been a no-brainer for the England manager. Sadly this won’t be the case as the former Charlton Athletic player suffered a tendon injury in his left knee on international duty with the Three Lions. Hence, he will not be featuring alongside his compatriots this summer
3) ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC
The 39-year old recently signed a contract extension with AC Milan that will see him play at the San Siro until the end of next season (by which time the Swede will be 40 years old). In addition to that, he had made a dramatic comeback to his national team when he was selected for the March World Cup qualifiers for the first time in almost five years.
Carl XVII Guztaf pic.twitter.com/NlHz5fM1Qe
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) March 25, 2021
He was set to lead the Blue and Yellows this summer, but everything was undone by an injury in the game with Juventus in Turin. The former Manchester United player suffered a knee injury that rules him out for up to six weeks. This effectively ended his participation at this summer’s Euros as the forward will instead undergo ‘conservative therapy’ to cure the knock
4) ANSU FATI
Ansu Fati was on course on a brilliant season for Barcelona as he scored four and created one more in La Liga, before sustaining a knee injury that initially ruled him out for four months.
But the Spaniard now looks set to miss the Euros after not being able to win the race against time to recover from a torn meniscus in his left knee. Fati would have been an instant starter for Spain this summer, but his knee injury marred his campaign for Barcelona and now has ruled him out for La Roja.
5) MARC-ANDRE TER STEGEN
German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen suffered a knock to his knee and will be undergoing an operation on his knee that rules him out of the last game of the season at Eibar. This also spells grim news for Die Mannschaft as they will be missing him at UEFA Euro 2020.
— Marc ter Stegen (@mterstegen1) May 17, 2021
The former Borussia Monchengladbach keeper made the announcement on social media amidst Barcelona’s underwhelming performances recently in which the German custodian has also drawn some flak. But Joachim Loew won’t be sweating over ter Stegen’s injury as Germany’s first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is available for the summer