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Best Players Missing From Euro 2020

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David Fitzgerald / Contributor

As we prepare for the latest edition of the European Championships, it’s always fun to discuss the best players at a tournament, however, there are some massive names missing from Euro 2020.

While we’ll have the pleasure of seeing Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne and other European stars, absences are beginning to build up for a number of countries.

Erling Haaland, arguably the biggest star not named Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe or Ronaldo, won’t have the opportunity to play for Norway after they failed to qualify for the tournament.

Meanwhile, a number of talents will miss the Euros due to injuries and managers leaving them out of their respective squads.

Let’s take a look at eight players set to miss Euro 2020 this summer.

Ansu Fati (SPAIN)

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Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Fati’s lingering knee injury is troublesome for the young star, and although Spain has its share of talent on the wings, it would’ve been tremendous to see the Barcelona man running up and down the pitch this summer.

Here’s to hoping Fati can get back onto the field in August when Barcelona kicks off its newest La Liga campaign.

Sergio Ramos (SPAIN)

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TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images

Ramos’ exclusion for Spain may have been one of the most puzzling absences for any country at this edition of the Euros.

Although the legendary Spanish captain suffered missed time due to injuries throughout the 2020/21 campaign, it was completely unexpected to not see Ramos’ name on the team sheet that Luis Enrique unveiled.

Nicolo Zaniolo (ITALY)

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Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

After suffering two knee injuries in 2020, Zaniolo announced he wouldn’t be taking part in the Euros as a precaution ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Italy has a lot of young talent at this stage, so preparing for 2022 should be a major priority for Roberto Mancini’s side. 

Zaniolo is already a regular starter at Roma, when healthy, and the 21-year-old will have the chance to man the Azzurri midfield for years to come with Jorginho and Marco Verratti.

Mason Greenwood (ENGLAND)

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Haflidi Breidfjord/Getty Images

With Gareth Southgate preparing to cut down his squad to 26 players, Greenwood pulled out of the Euros with a lingering injury.

Although Greenwood’s long-term health is absolutely a main priority for both England and Manchester United, England will be missing a key spark off the bench this summer.

Greenwood quickly became one of Manchester United’s elite attacking options this season and could’ve given Jadon Sancho a real competition at right wing when it came down to Southgate naming a starter.

Marc-andre ter Stegen (GERMANY)

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Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Luckily for the Germans they have a guy in goal named Manuel Neuer, but ter Stegen’s absence is still a big blow. 

The Barcelona keeper has established himself as one of the best in La Liga and the world during his time with the Blaugrana.

Virgil van Dijk (NETHERLANDS)

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Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

Much like Liverpool’s struggles throughout the Premier League season due to Van Dijk’s absence, there’s been a noticeable difference with the Netherlands without their top defender.

Van Dijk missing the Euros is a huge blow for a country with a pretty favorable group and a chance to make a run in the biggest European competition. Although VVD is nearing a return, he isn’t quite there just yet.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWEDEN)

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JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images

As Ibrahimovic continues to age, we near some of the final opportunities to watch him compete at the top levels of international football.

He’s had so many moments of brilliance, including his legendary bicycle kick against England, that have made Ibrahimovic one of the most prolific strikers of this generation. Sweden will have to make a run without their all-time leading goal scorer.

Erling Haaland (NORWAY)

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David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Although this one isn’t due to injury, there’s no question that Euro 2020 would have been better off with Haaland competing in it.

At the age of 20, it’s already easy to argue that the Borussia Dortmund striker is one of the top five strikers in the world and only improving each time he steps out on the pitch.

Norway will need to improve collectively if we are to see Haaland and Co. at a major tournament in the near future, but at least we can all enjoy the young star’s brilliance at the club level for many years to come.

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