With less than a month to go, the countdown has begun. Euro 2016 promises to be a scintillating, power packed and a high-quality tournament filled with stars putting on their national colours and fighting it out for glory. For the players, representing the country is a matter of great pride. It also enables them to showcase their talents and temperament on the biggest stage in Europe. However, injuries are a big part of a player’s life and unfortunately, there is always a group of quality players who miss out on the showpiece event. Here we look at the top 10 players who will not be playing Euro 2016 due to injury:
The absence of their captain Vincent Kompany is a massive blow to Mark Wilmot’s side keen to make an impression at the Euros. Vincent Kompany is a leader and when fully fit, is one of the best centre-backs in the world. However, the Manchester City star has made just 22 appearances for them this season. Injured against Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the CL, he has been on the treatment table ever since leading to his omission from the 23 man squad.
Jack Butland has been in sensational form for Stoke City this season and was widely tipped to be a challenger to Joe Hart for the number 1 keeper spot. However, a fractured ankle against Germany during the friendly on March 26 all but ended his chances of making it to France. His injury almost guarantees Joe Hart a place in the starting 11 of the Three Lions.
A player with immense potential, even likened to ‘Piccasio’ due to his artistry on the field by former Milan coach Arigo Saacchi, Marco Verratti was widely expected to announce himself on the international stage during the Euros. With the retirement of Pirlo, Verratti was expected to be the heart of the Azzurri midfield. He is set to undergo a surgery to heal the persistent groin problem and will miss the European extravaganza.
Ilkay Gundogan seemed to have put his long-term injury problems behind his back as he enjoyed a superb 2015-16 with Borussia Dortmund. Gundogan’s form at the heart of midfield was a major reason for Dortmund enjoying an impressive season where they are 2nd in the Bundesliga. All was going well for the Dortmund star until a knee cap dislocation during training ruled him out of the Euros where he was expected to be a definite starter for Germany.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is definitely not having his best season, following his transfer to the Premier League. He has been on the sidelines for a majority of the season and has failed to make a significant contribution to the Manchester United side. Injured on international duty on March 22, he has missed all of United’s matches ever since. Though Scheweinsteiger, now 31, is not the player he once used to be, his vast experience of 114 international matches would have come in handy during the tournament for Low’s side.
It has been another frustrating campaign for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Arsenal alike. The Ox has just 1 goal and 1 assist to his name from 22 Premier League appearances this term. A knee injury suffered against Barcelona in the Champion’s League round of 16 ruled him out for the rest of the season. Hodgson is known to be an admirer of Chamberlain and would have probably made it to the squad if fit.
Danny Welbeck seemed to have sparked some life into the Arsenal side after his return from a 10 month long injury. However, an injury sustained during the game against Manchester City has ruled him out of action for another 9 months. Welbeck would not have been a starter for the three Lions in France anyway, but his work rate and versatility would have prompted Hodgson to pick him in the squad of 23. His ability to play anywhere along the front 3 would have made him a handy player to have in the squad, but disappointingly for England and Welbeck himself, he will face another lengthy spell on the medical table.
The absence of the veteran Claudio Marchisio is a big blow to the Azzuri midfield, which was already looking thin due to Verrati’s absence. Marchisio brings in a commanding presence to the midfield and has already played 3 major tournaments for Italy. A ligament injury to the left knee suffered during a match against Palermo has ruled him out of the showpiece event.
Kurt Zouma has been one of the positives in a disappointing Chelsea season. Though he hadn’t featured for Deschamp’s side during the qualifiers, Zouma was increasingly hopeful of a place in the France squad after a fine season. A knee ligament injury endured during the match against Manchester United ruled him out of action for 6 months, leading to an omission from the French squad.
A thigh injury picked up during training has forced Coentrao out of Euro 2016. The Monaco man is having an injury-plagued season ever since his loan move from Real Madrid. Coentrao has been one of Portugal’s most consistent performers in major tournaments and his injury is a big blow for a team already devoid of big names.