Man of the moment Erling Haaland won’t be at the this year’s Euro’s as Norway failed to qualify. Photo: Maja Hitij/Reuters
Man of the moment Erling Haaland won’t be at the this year’s Euro’s as Norway failed to qualify. Photo: Maja Hitij/Reuters

Who are the top players that will miss the European Championships

By Eshlin Vedan Time of article published May 29, 2021

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DURBAN - One of the few negatives about major international football tournaments is that some of the world’s best players sometimes do not get to play in them.

Others play for nations that struggle to qualify for the major tournaments. This was the case with Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs, who never played at a major international tournament with his native Wales. Some wind up getting injured as happened to English cult figure David Beckham on the eve of the 2010 World Cup. However, Beckham did play in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

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Playing in South Africa would have been a fitting swansong for Beckham, a football and fashion icon.

The following are five of the best players who will miss out on Euro 2021.

Erling Haaland

The Borussia Dortmund striker, one of the best in the world in his position, has scored 27 Bundesliga goals this season.

Despite being just 20, Haaland already resembles a striker at the peak of his career and could soon be a Ballon d’Or candidate.

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His country Norway lost their Euro 2020 semi-final play-off against Serbia last October after Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored in extra time. This means that Haaland will have to watch the Euros from home.

Jan Oblak

The Atletico Madrid goalkeeper is widely regarded as the best in the world in his position and recently helped his club to sensationally win a first La Liga title since 2014.

Oblak will miss out on the Euros after his native Slovenia failed to qualify.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Not only did Ibrahimovic score an impressive 15 Serie A goals from 19 appearances but he also made a comeback to the Swedish national team in March, aged 39.

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Earlier this month, it was announced that Ibrahimovic would not form part of Sweden’s Euro plans due to a knee injury that he sustained while with Milan.

If Ibrahimovic can remain fit, don’t be surprised to see him at the World Cup next year even though he will be over 40.

Anthony Martial

The Manchester United star has been unlucky on the international front. He would easily walk into the national teams of most countries and would have slotted into most past France teams.

Martial was not selected to be part of the French team that won the 2018 World Cup and neither has he been selected for the Les Bleus squad that will contest the Euros.

Martial was unlucky in a sense that he only recently returned to training following an injury lay-off. However, he only didn’t make the cut for France due to the extremity of the depth in talent in that country. Due to their strength, the French will be one of the favourites to win the tournament.

Virgil Van Dijk

The 29-year-old was a key pillar of the Liverpool team which won the 2019 Champions League and 2019/20 Premier League.

His captaincy of the Netherlands has also helped the Oranje to revive their fortunes and rebuild after their humiliation sustained by failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and the subsequent retirements of a few national team legends.

Van Dijk has been out of action since October due to an ACL injury that he sustained while on duty for Liverpool. This consequently led to his exclusion from Netherlands’ Euro squad.

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