EURO 2020: Haaland, Ibrahimovic under stars who miss

EURO 2020: Haaland, Ibrahimovic under stars who miss

By PTI

LONDON: One of the best players in the world will not compete in the European Championship.

Norwegian forward Erling Haaland is the biggest name missing in Euro 2020, as his country failed to qualify for the tournament.

A number of other players doing their trade at Europe’s biggest clubs will miss out for similar reasons, while several top players will also be absent from the rescheduled tournament after being injured this season.

DO NOT QUALIFY

Haaland was ‘very angry’ when Norway lost in the semi-finals of the play-off match against Serbia, and the productive striker refused the chance to show his skills on one of the biggest international stages.

The 20-year-old Haaland has been sensational over the past few seasons and through his performances he is considered the heir of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Haaland have scored 59 goals in 57 games for Borussia Dortmund over the past two seasons.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored two goals for Serbia in the semi-final against Norway, but the Lazio midfielder ?? one of the most exciting creative talents ?? will also miss the tournament after his team lost by penalty kicks in the play-off match against Scotland.

One of the world’s best goalkeepers also plays for a country that could not succeed.

Atlético Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak leads Slovenia, whose absence also misses Josip Ilicic, Atalanta’s forward.

INJURIES

Sweden’s biggest player ?? and one of the world’s leading strikers ?? came out of the international retirement in March, but 39-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic was ruled out of the tournament after injuring his knee while playing for AC Milan.

Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk also injured a knee and will not return in time for Euro 2020.

Another Liverpool center-back, Joe Gomez, will miss England for the same reason.

Defending champions Portugal will be without forward Pedro Neto, while record-breaking teenager Ansu Fati is on his way to Spain.

The Barcelona teenager recently had a third operation on his troublesome knee.

CHOICE

Spanish coach Luis Enrique has left veteran captain Sergio Ramos out of his squad for the tournament after a season plagued by injuries.

Enrique said the 35-year-old Real Madrid defender had recently made it difficult for him to be included in the Euro 2020 squad.

With 180 matches for Spain, Ramos had the most national team performances for a European country and was on his way to breaking Egyptian player Ahmed Hassan’s world record of 184.

In Germany, coach Joachim Löw left Jérôme Boateng again, but Thomas Müller and Mats Hummels remember.

Löw dropped all three players as part of his uproar following the disappointing early retirement from the 2018 World Cup, but the team failed to shine in their absence.

Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic did not even give his coach a choice and made the decision himself.

The 33-year-old Rakitic retired from international football last year shortly after leaving Barcelona and signing for Sevilla.

Croatia will also be without Borna Sosa, who has dual nationality with Germany.

The left wing thought he might play for the German national team at Euro 2020, but FIFA rules prevented him from switching from nationality.

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