Players from Manchester United, Liverpool and Barcelona will all be spending this summer recovering from an injury rather than playing at Euro 2020.
We’ve compiled an Xl of players who are missing from the tournament due to injury. The team is displayed in a 4–2-3-1 formation and the midfield two would even make Garth Crooks blush.
GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen
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.
“I have decided together with the medical team of the club that I will do a complementary intervention on my knee,” Ter Stegen wrote on Instagram. “I’m sad that I will miss the Euro 2020 this summer with Germany.
“For the first time in many years I will be a fan at home supporting my country, I hope we win it!”
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
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
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.
“With everything that is going on, I feel physically it is the right decision that I’ve decided not to go to the Euros and to go into my last phase of rehab during the off-season,” Van Dijk told Liverpool’s official website. “So, the full focus will be on pre-season with the club and that’s a realistic goal, so I am looking forward to that.
“Obviously I am very gutted to miss the Euros, to miss the European Championship and leading out my own country there. But things have been like they have and I have to accept it – we all have to accept it.
“I think the decision to not go is the right decision in the grand scheme of things. It’s tough, but I’m at peace with it.”
CB: Joe Gomez
The third Liverpool defender to feature on this list, Gomez has been out since injuring his knee while on international duty with England in November 2020.
He was the leading candidate to partner Harry Maguire in the centre of England’s defence but John Stones has now taken his place in the side.
Having missed the 2018 World Cup due to injury, the centre-back will now have to wait until 2022 before making his first appearance at an international tournament.
LB: Ferland Mendy
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.
“The state of his injury is not good at the moment,” France boss Didier Deschamps said. “We talked to him and the doctors, he needs to rest and to recover.”
CM: Nicolo Zaniolo
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.
“I am disappointed, but my target is to be ready for the World Cup next year,” Zaniolo told La Gazzetta dello Sport in April.
CM: Donny van de Beek
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.
RW: Pedro Neto
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
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.
“He is not in good condition,” Hungary coach Marco Rossi said. “He is not even in a condition to be sent on as a substitute for a few minutes. It is really painful for me not to be able to play him.”
LW: Ansu Fati
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
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.