Star Players Who Will Not Lace Boots in Euro 2016

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At every major international tournament, fans revel in the chance to see the best players on the biggest stage at the same time. Euro 2016 will be no different, with Europe’s stars gearing up for what promises to be a competitive game, packed with elite players at the peak of their careers. But, there some denied such privilege. Here are few of the stars who will not be in France for Euro 2016

Goalkeeper: Jack Butland

The injured goalkeeper has real strength in depth, with both England and Italy missing one of their back-ups – Jack Butland and Mattia Perin – while the Republic of Ireland will be without Rob Elliott.

Butland, who suffered a broken ankle while playing for England in March, gets the nod. He might not have started for England in France, but as one of the top-rated young keepers in Europe, he was ready to step in should anything happen to Joe Hart. A big miss for England.

Right back: Kurt Zouma

So much has been made of France’s incredible squad ahead of their home tournament, that those likely to miss out have been somewhat overlooked.

Zouma is one of Europe’s best young defenders, as he has shown since arriving at Chelsea, and would certainly have been in the hosts’ squad were it not for a nasty cruciate ligament injury sustained in February.

Centre back and captain: Vincent Kompany

Manchester City’s captain is one of the best defenders in the world when he’s fit – The muscle injury he picked up against Real Madrid is his fifth of the season, and he has managed just 15 Premier League games this term. The Belgium captain is a huge loss for a side tipped to challenge for a first major title.

Centre back: Aymeric Laporte

Another young French star who will be missing out because of a nasty injury. Laporte is widely tipped to be one of Europe’s leading defenders in the years to come, and is a target for Pep Guardiola when he arrives at Manchester City.

But the 21-year-old broke his ankle playing for his country’s Under 21 side earlier this season.

Left back: Fabio Coentrao

The left back position is another one of real strength, with Luke Shaw also likely to miss out due to his season-long absence through injury. But Coentrao gets the nod thanks to his greater international experience –  51 Portugal caps to Shaw’s six for England – and the fact that this injury is likely to end his major tournament chances, while Shaw will surely be back.

The Real Madrid defender – on loan at Monaco this season – is out for three to six months with a thigh injury that required surgery.

Right wing: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

His poor form before picking up a knee injury against Barcelona meant that some were doubting the Arsenal winger’s place in Roy Hodgson’s squad – but as one of the manager’s favourites, he would certainly have gone had he recovered.

As it is, a second knee injury, sustained in training, has ruled the winger out for certain. At his best a direct runner and incisive passer, Oxlade-Chamberlain is still only 22, and will be back for more tournaments once he returns to fitness.

Central midfield: Marco Verratti

In an Italian side that is struggling to live up to its traditional standing in world football, PSG star Veratti is the one stand-out star. The all-action midfielder should have been the man at the centre of whatever Euro 2016 chances Antonio Conte’s side have, but instead he will be at home after an operation on a groin injury. Italy will be without Marco Verratti, arguably their best player.

Central midfield: Ilkay Gundogan

Another Manchester City target missing out on a trip to France, Gundogan has demonstrated his ability for Dortmund again this season after returning from long-term injury problems.

But just when his place, not just in Joachim Low’s squad but also the national team, looked assured, he suffered another set-back.  A knee injury, sustained in training has ended his season and his hopes of playing for the world champions in France.

Central midfield: Claudio Marchisio

Another huge loss for Italy, the national team will be without the Juventus star Claudio, who should command their midfield in Verrati’s absence. A torn cruciate ligament means that the 30-year-old, who has 54 caps for his country and is a veteran of three major tournaments, will not be part of Conte’s squad.

Left wing: Bastian Schweinsteiger 

It’s probably not right to have an ageing Schweinsteiger out on the wing, but the talent (un)available in central midfielder makes it necessary. The Manchester United man has not been at his best since moving to Old Trafford – but Germany boss Low said he would do everything possible to get his captain in the squad for the Euros. But that prospect looks unlikely, with the German still to return to action for his club, and Low with so many midfield options.

Striker: Danny Welbeck

Just when the Arsenal striker looked like he was putting an injury-hit season behind him, he limped off again last weekend in the draw with Manchester City.

It is a bitter blow for the former Manchester United striker, who scored six times during qualification and is a firm favourite of Hodgson.

But with so many attacking options available for England, there is next to no chance that Hodgson will gamble on a half-fit Welbeck – his Euro dreams look over.

Franck Ribery

Despite hanging up his international boots after missing the 2014 World Cup, Ribery – now fit and firing again – has declared himself ready to return to the France fold. With the likes of Anthony Martial, Dimitri Payet, Antoine Griezmann and Kingsley Coman having progressed in the last two years, though, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him left out.

Mario Balotelli

Despite his undoubted talent, the controversial Italian has fallen off the radar at international level since the 2014 World Cup. A move to Liverpool last season was a disaster, and things haven’t been much better back at Milan this term, with the 25-year-old having contributed only three goals all year.

Having not featured for Italy in two years and Simone Zaza, Graziano Pelle and Eder all seemingly preferred by Antonio Conte, Balotelli’s chances of going to France this summer are very slim indeed.

Daniel Sturridge

A fully fit Sturridge would probably walk into England’s first XI, but recurring injury issues – the striker has made only 17 league starts since the start of last season – mean the Liverpool man could miss out this summer.

Although Sturridge has netted four goals in his last six outings for the Reds, he may have given himself too much to do, with Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney all likely to be higher up on Hodgson’s list.

Edin Dzeko (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

Former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko smashed seven goals in seven qualifying games for Bosnia and found the net in the first leg of their play-off with Republic of Ireland. It wasn’t enough though and Euro 2016 will be without the two-time Premier League winner, currently playing for Roma.

Arjen Robben (Netherlands)

It might have been a different story for Netherlands had Robben stayed injury free for their qualifying campaign. The Bayern Munich winger was sidelined for four of their eight games, including their damaging defeats to Turkey and Czech Republic. His absence proved costly for a squad lacking depth.

Memphis Depay (Netherlands)

It’s fair to say this season hasn’t quite gone to plan for Memphis. The winger featured regularly during the Netherlands’ qualifying campaign after impressing at the World Cup, but he won’t play a part at Euro 2016 and has been dropped from their squad in the wake of their elimination. He has also lost his place at Manchester United.

Darren Fletcher (Scotland)

The wait to appear at a major tournament goes on for Scotland captain Darren Fletcher, who couldn’t hide his disappointment when Republic of Ireland’s win over Germany confirmed their exit from the qualifiers. “Ultimately we failed to do what we set out to do or even make the play-offs,” he said.

Aleksandar Kolarov (Serbia)

Manchester City left-back Kolarov will be another high-profile absentee after Serbia’s elimination. The 30-year-old featured in all but one of their qualifying fixtures. He scored in their 2-0 win over Albania last month, but it came too late to pull them out of their group.

Daley Blind (Netherlands)

Manchester United’s Blind was a regular in Netherlands’ qualifying campaign but was unable to prevent the Dutch – who finished third at the 2014 World Cup – from falling to a humiliating failure in Group A. Blind and his team-mates ended up five points adrift of even a play-off spot.

Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia)

Ivanovic’s Chelsea woes were compounded by Serbia’s dismal qualifying campaign. The 31-year-old, who captains his country, featured in all but one of their games but they finished second-bottom of Group I. Serbia only won two of eight outings and they were also hit with a three-point deduction after their game with Albania had to be abandoned.

Asmir Begovic (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

Chelsea goalkeeper Begovic played every minute of Bosnia’s qualifying campaign, but won’t be in France next summer after his country crashed out in the play-offs to Republic of Ireland. The former Stoke shot-stopper has been getting plenty of first-team football at Stamford Bridge following an injury to Thibaut Courtois but will have the summer off after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Martin O’Neill’s side.