It is the wish of every footballer to represent their country in international football tournaments. Footballers often speak of pride every time they are privileged to dorn the jersey of their national teams.

Unfortunately, some players have been ruled out of EURO 2020 through injuries or not being called up by the national team coaches.

As heartbreaking as that might be, we have decided to run a list of the best XI missing the EURO 2020 tournament, with some of the top names in football featuring.

GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Germany and Barcelona)

Ter Stegen made 42 appearances for Barcelona in 2020-21 but decided to undergo a procedure on a recurring knee issue at the end of the season.

Fortunately for Germany, they are particularly well-stocked in his position, with Manuel Neuer, Bernd Leno and Kevin Trapp named in their final 26-man squad.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold (England and Liverpool)

Alexander-Arnold endured some difficult spells during 2020-21 and was reportedly going to be omitted from the England squad for Euro 2020.

The Liverpool defender was eventually named in the squad, only to then sustain a thigh injury in a pre-tournament friendly against Austria.

He was replaced in the squad by Brighton centre-back Ben White, leaving Gareth Southgate with just three right-backs to choose from at Euro 2020.

CB: Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands and Liverpool)

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – SEPTEMBER 06: Virgil Van Dijk of the Netherlands in action during the International Friendly match between Netherlands and Peru at Johan Cruyff Arena on September 6, 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Van Dijk has established himself as one of the best defenders in the world, helping Liverpool win the Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League in 2020.

But the Netherlands captain suffered a cruciate ligament knee injury in the Merseyside derby back in October and subsequently missed the rest of the 2020-21 campaign.

Despite returning to light training, he is nowhere near match fit and has decided to focus on his fitness ahead of the 2021-22 season.

CB: Sergio Ramos (Spain and Real Madrid )

The Spanish veteran injured his hamstring in May. The Euros will be Spain’s first major tournament without the defender since 2004.

LB: Ferland Mendy (France and Real Madrid)

Ferland MENDY of France during the Nations League match between France and Croatia on September 8, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Anthony Dibon/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Mendy was in impressive form for Real Madrid in 2020-21, usurping club legend Marcelo as Zinedine Zidane’s first-choice left-back.

But the 25-year-old missed the end of the season due to a shin problem and failed to recover in time to make France’s squad for Euro 2020.

CM: Nicolo Zaniolo (Italy and AS Roma)

After suffering a cruciate ligament injury in January 2020, Zaniola was undoubtedly relieved when Euro 2020 got delayed by 12 months.

He returned to full fitness with Roma but then ruptured the cruciate ligament in his other knee while playing for Italy in September 2020.

The 21-year-old is yet to return to action and won’t be able to add to his seven international caps at Euro 2020.

CM: Donny van de Beek (Netherlands and Manchester United)

Van de Beek will get his chance at Man United ― Solskjaer

It’s safe to assume that Van de Beek won’t look back on 2020-21 too fondly.

He endured a difficult first season at Manchester United, making just four Premier League starts after signing from Ajax last summer.

The midfielder was still named in the Netherlands’ squad for Euro 2020 before a groin injury forced him to withdraw on the eve of the tournament.

ALSO READ: EURO 2020: Netherlands put off early scare in 3-2 late win over Ukraine

RW: Pedro Neto (Portugal and Wolves)

While Wolves endured a difficult 2020-21, Neto was one of their standout performers, registering five goals and six assists in 31 Premier League appearances.

The winger also won three caps for Portugal and was expected to be named in Fernando Santos’ squad for the defence of their European crown this summer.

But his dreams of playing at Euro 2020 were shattered when he injured his knee against Fulham in April and was ruled out for at least six months.

CAM: Dominik Szoboszlai (Hungary and RB Leipzig)

Szoboszlai was the player who earned Hungary a ticket for this year’s tournament​, scoring the last-minute winner against Iceland in the qualifying play-offs last November.

But he hasn’t played a competitive game since December 2020 due to an adductor problem and is yet to make his debut for new club RB Leipzig.

The 20-year-old was named in Hungary’s provisional 30-man squad but failed to prove his fitness and will now miss Euro 2020.

LW: Ansu Fati (Spain and Barcelona)

ALSO READ: EURO 2020: Schmeichel grateful for Eriksen’s recovery after cardiac arrest incident

Fati made his international debut in September 2020 and scored his first goal on his second appearance, becoming Spain’s youngest ever goalscorer at the age of 17 years and 311 days.

The Barcelona winger looked certain to go to the Euros, only to suffer a serious knee injury in November that ruled him out for the rest of the season.

While he won’t be playing for Spain this summer, the teenager will undoubtedly go on to play in many major tournaments over the next few years.

ST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden and AC Milan)

Sweden’s forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Georgia’s defender Lasha Dvali vie for the ball during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification football match Sweden v Georgia in Solna, near Stockholm on March 25, 2021. (Photo by Pontus LUNDAHL / TT NEWS AGENCY / AFP) / Sweden OUT

Having retired from international football in 2016, Ibrahimovic decided to return to the Sweden national team in March 2021 and played in their 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

The 39-year-old has been rolling back the years with AC Milan, scoring 17 goals in 27 appearances in all competitions for the Rossoneri in 2020-21.

However, injury has cruelly denied him a place at Euro 2020 and Sweden will now have to do without their all-time leading goal scorer.

Notable mentions: Arkadiusz Milik (Poland and Marseille), Krzysztof Piatek ( Hertha Berlin and Poland), Dani Carvajal (Spain and Real Madrid), Joe Gomez (England and Liverpool), and Marco Reus (Germany and Borussia Dortmund) who for some reason rejected a call-up for the Euros.

Vanguard News Nigeria

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.