Euro 2020 Missing XI: Ibrahimovic headlines absent stars
The European Championship gives some of the best talent on the continent a chance to showcase their ability but who are the players to have missed out whether through injury, omission or simply because their team failed to qualify?
Harry Kane, Kevin De Bruyne, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann are all in the running to win the player of the tournament but we have selected a Euro 2020 Missing XI in a 4-4-2 formation for the stars that won’t be shining on the brightest stage.
Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak
The Atletico Madrid goalkeeper kept a La Liga-high 18 clean sheets in helping his side win the title for the first time in seven years.
Slovenia failed to qualify for Euro 2020 having finished fourth in their group and unless things improve soon we won’t ever see Oblak in the international arena.
Right-back: Ricardo Pereira
The Leicester right-back had an injury-hit season and despite returning to fitness did not make the final cut in Fernando Santos’ Portugal squad.
Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool’s rock would have been an automatic choice for Frank de Boer’s Netherlands squad but a season-ending knee injury sustained in the Merseyside derby means the centre-back will sadly be absent from the Euros.
Centre-back: Sergio Ramos
The Spain and Real Madrid skipper simply ran out of time in his bid to be fit for Euro 2020 after missing the whole of April with a leg injury and despite returning for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Chelsea, coach Luis Enrique went with Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte.
Left-back: Ferland Mendy
Enrique did not pick a single Real Madrid player in his 24-man Spain squad while Los Blancos left-back Mendy, out for a month with severe shin splints, was omitted by France coach Didier Deschamps.
Midfielder: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic
The talented Lazio midfielder played at the 2018 World Cup but Serbia have not qualified for the European Championship finals since 2000 and missed out again in a penalty shoot-out with Scotland.
Isco started just nine La Liga and Champions League games under the now departed Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane so that was an easy decision for Enrique to make.
Midfielder: Marco Reus
The Borussia Dortmund attacker could have joined Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels in being recalled to the Germany squad but ruled himself out in order to recover from a “very intense season”.
Midfielder: Miralem Pjanic
Pjanic joined Barcelona in a swap deal almost a year ago which saw Arthur head to Juventus but Bosnia-Herzegovina also fell foul of a penalty shoot-out with Northern Ireland which ended their qualification hopes.
Striker: Erling Braut Haaland
Borussia Dortmund’s goal machine has yet to play on the international stage and his wait goes on after Norway were eliminated via the play-offs.
Striker: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Ibrahimovic came out of international retirement in order to play for Sweden at Euro 2020 but the AC Milan striker sustained a knee injury against Juventus which ruled him out of the tournament.