Who makes our XI of the biggest names not playing at Euro 2020?

Virgil van Dijk and Erling Haaland are among the star names who will miss out on Euro 2020 due to injury or a failure to qualify… but who else makes our XI of the biggest names that will be watching this summer’s tournament from home?

  • There are a number of high-profile footballers who will miss out on Euro 2020
  • Some saw their countries fail to qualify while others are ruled out with an injury
  • Virgil van Dijk and Erling Haaland are the two biggest names who will be absent
  • Sportsmail has compiled an XI of some of the best talent who will be watching on
  • The players with a point to prove at this summer’s Championships 
  • Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here.

With most players only getting the chance to play in a handful of international tournaments during their career, it is a sickening blow when your team fails to qualify or, worse, you are forced to miss out through injury.

But there are a handful of big names who will not be on show at this summer’s delayed European Championships with the world’s most in-demand striker, Erling Haaland, and arguably world’s best defender, Virgil van Dijk, among those to be watching from their sofas.

Here, Sportsmail has compiled an XI comprised of some of the best talent who will not be playing at the Euros this summer. 

Liverpool and Holland star Virgil van Dijk is one of many players who will miss out on Euro 2020

Jan Oblak (Slovenia)

For a goalkeeper at the peak of his powers, it must be frustrating for Oblak to have never represented his country at a major tournament.

Slovenia were last on the biggest stage in international football at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where they crashed out in the group stage.

In Euro 2020 qualifying, Slovenia came fourth in a group won by Poland with Austria coming second.

They also missed out on a place in the Nations League play-off route, with those spots going to Israel and North Macedonia.

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak will not be taking part after Slovenia failed to qualify

Joe Gomez (England) 

The knee injury sustained by Gomez on England duty back in October came just days after team-mate Virgil van Dijk was also ruled out for the season.

Their absence has caused Jurgen Klopp a major selection headache all season and the Reds surrendered their Premier League title to Manchester City without a whimper.

Gomez probably would have been a starter for Gareth Southgate had he been fit, but instead the Liverpool defender will be watching on from home as he tries to be fully fit for pre-season. 

Joe Gomez has missed most of the season after picking up a knee injury while on England duty

Kostas Manolas (Greece)

It is impossible to think that Greece won Euro 2004 when you consider how far they have fallen now.

The last major tournament they qualified for was the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where Manolas played every minute as they were knocked out in the last-16.

Manolas is the country’s best player but the Napoli star was unable to guide them to Euro 2020 with Greece finishing third in their group behind Italy and Finland.

At 29, Manolas may consider the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as the final chance for him to play at another tournament. They drew both of their qualifiers in March, however, leaving them four points off the pace already.  

Greek defender Kostas Manolas could not inspire the former Euros champions to qualify

Virgil van Dijk (Holland)  

The Dutch defender is the other half of Liverpool’s centre back crisis. He has been sidelined since October with a ruptured cruciate ligament and is unlikely to play for Liverpool before the end of the season.

That’s despite Van Dijk exciting fans by posting a video of himself running on the training ground towards the end of April as he continued his recovery.

Van Dijk, 29, is Holland’s captain but Jurgen Klopp believes it is too risky to select him for the rearranged Euro 2020 tournament, which begins on June 11.

The Liverpool manager said: ‘I don’t want to hold Virgil back but you can’t force it as well. You are all long enough in the business to know that if you want to play you have to train before – and proper football training.

‘It takes weeks. Not a week before. You cannot be 10 or 11 months out, train for one week and then play football. That is not possible, it should not be possible.’

Van Dijk is Holland’s captain but Jurgen Klopp has urged them not to select him for Euro 2020

Axel Witsel (Belgium) 

It was crippling blow for Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’ to see key midfielder Witsel ruled out for ‘the coming months’ when he tore his left Achilles tendon during Dortmund’s win over RB Leipzig back in January.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said at the time that such an injury can take between four to seven months to recover.

‘This is not a moment to be thinking about whether he´ll be missing the European Championship or not. Now it´s about taking the next step correctly and making sure that he knows we´re going to wait to the last second before we announce that squad,’ Martinez said.

Witsel has made more than 100 appearances for Belgium and is crucial alongside Youri Tielemans in allowing their plethora of attacking options to flourish in the final third.

Axel Witsel tore his left Achilles tendon during Dortmund’s win over RB Leipzig back in January

Miralem Pjanic has represented Bosnia at a major tournament but will not be at Euro 2020

Miralem Pjanic (Bosnia)

Pjanic has been one of Europe’s elite midfielders for a decade now but will not be competing at this year’s European Championships.

The 31-year-old has found himself on the bench an awful lot for Barcelona this season and his future remains up in there.

He will have plenty of time to think about his next move this summer with Bosnia failing to win their play-off semi-final against Northern Ireland.

Pjanic was key to Bosnia qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil – the country’s first-ever major tournament – and will be desperate to qualify for another before he hangs up his boots. 

Nicolo Zaniolo (Italy) 

It was heartbreaking for Zaniolo back in September when he tore an anterior cruciate ligament for the second time in eight months.

The 21-year-old Roma player only returned from his previous injury last summer but hurt his other knee in a challenge by Donny van de Beek while playing for Italy in September. 

Zaniolo, who ruptured the ACL in his right knee during a match against Juventus in January 2020, was hoping to be back on the pitch before the end of the season.

But with his left knee still not fully recovered, Zaniolo is not taking any risks and said: ‘I am disappointed, but my target is to be ready for the World Cup next year.’

Italy’s Nicolo Zaniolo has torn an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee for the second time

Martin Odegaard (Norway)

Like Erling Haaland further down, Odegaard is another huge talent to miss out because of Norway’s failure to qualify.

The 22-year-old former prodigy was widely tipped to be the next best thing in football but his career has stagnated ever since he joined Real Madrid at the age of 16.

On loan at Arsenal this year, Odegaard has scored twice but provided zero assists for the Gunners and it remains to be seen whether or not they pursue a permanent move in the summer.

With an impressive group of young players that also includes Haaland, Sander Berge, Morten Thorsby, Jens Petter Hauge and Kristoffer Ajer, it doesn’t seem like it will be long until Norway qualify for a first tournament since Euro 2000.

A frustrating season on loan at Arsenal will end with Martin Odegaard not playing at Euro 2020

Harvey Barnes (England) 

The Leicester winger was in superb form and looked likely to be part of Southgate’s England squad before picking up a knee injury during Leicester’s 3-1 defeat by Arsenal in February.

In a further blow, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers revealed last month that Barnes will miss the Euros after suffering a setback in his return from surgery.

‘He’s just gone in to have a second, minor operation, to clear up some of the damage in his knee,’ Rodgers said. ‘It will probably rule him out for the rest of the season, but the plan is to get him through this and then he’ll be back for pre-season.’ 

Barnes, who made his England debut in October 2020, had been one of Leicester’s most influential players this season with nine goals and four assists in the Premier League.

Harvey Barnes was playing himself into England contention before suffering a knee injury

Erling Haaland (Norway) 

Some argue that you have to shine on the international stage in order to be considered one of football’s greatest players.

But Haaland needs to prove nothing with his country after a sensational two seasons that have catapulted him into being the world’s most in-demand striker. 

Norway were so close to qualifying for the Euros, too. But they lost their play-off semi-final against Serbia, who were then beaten by Scotland anyway.

Maybe a few months off will be good for Haaland after a blistering couple of seasons. It will also sharpen his mind as he weighs up his next club. 

Erling Haaland is the world’s most in-demand star but the Norwegian will have the summer off

Dusan Vlahovic (Serbia) 

A Golden Boy 2020 nominee, Vlahovic has burst onto the scene this season with Fiorentina and attracted interest from a host of top European clubs.

The 21-year-old has scored XXXX goals in XXXX appearances for the Italian side and has been linked with a move to Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.

It is claimed Fiorentina have told those interested in Vlahovic to cough up as much as £52million because he has two years left on his contract.

Vlahovic may be in red hot form at club level but he was unable to cause Scotland any problems in their play-off final, which the Scots won on pens in Belgrade back in November.

Dusan Vlahovic has shone for Fiorentina this season but could not help Serbia beat Scotland

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