Euro 2016 | Missing players XI; Benzema, Kompany and Pirlo among absentees

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Image Courtesy: © Gettyimages and Facebook - Vincent Kompany

Euro 2016 | Missing players XI; Benzema, Kompany and Pirlo among absentees

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Arun S Kaimal

06/06/2016

After a pulsating European football season, most of Europe’s top footballers have donned the colours of their respective International teams in a bid to win one of the biggest honours in World football – UEFA European Championship. However, there are others who missed out on the 23-man squads in the quadrennial event, and will be watching the tournament from the comfort of their sofas at home.

Here is a team made up of the best players, who will miss out on Euro 2016.

Goalkeeper

1. Kevin Trapp (Germany)

After a successful debut season with French champions Paris Saint Germain, who secured a historic domestic treble by winning the Ligue 1, Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France trophies, Kevin Trapp would have been hoping for a call-up from Joachim Löw for the Euros. But, the 25-year-old, who kept 25 clean sheets in all competitions, found himself out of the squad after Joachim Low opted for Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), and Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen) as the three keepers for the German squad.

Other notable absentees: Jack Butland (England), and Tim Krul (Netherlands)

(Also, read to find out who has been the best goalkeeper in Europe this season)

Defenders

2. Dani Carvajal (Spain)

The 2016 Champions League winner with Real Madrid missed out on a plane to France after picking up a hip injury in the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid. A grade two tear of his hip flexor muscles ruled him out for at least a month ending all hopes of a place in the Spainish squad for the Euros. Arsenal defender Héctor Bellerín took Carvajal’s place in Vicente del Bosque’s 23-man squad to board the plane for his first European Championship.

Other notable absentees: Mathieu Debuchy

3. Luke Shaw (England)

At the start of the season, Manchester United’s 20-year-old left back Luke Shaw would have been a nailed on starter for Roy Hodgson’s team in Euro 2016. However, he broke his leg in a Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven on September 15, and missed the remainder of the season. The door of the first team remained closed for him, as he struggled to prove his fitness. Tottenham’s Danny Rose and Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand made it to the squad before Shaw, ending his chances to showcase his skills in the Championship.

(Also Read: Manchester United | Five players who could get the boot from Jose Mourinho)

Other notable absentees: Fabio Coentrao (Portugal), Gael Clichy (France), Nacho Monreal (Spain)

4. Vincent Kompany (Belgium)

Belgium and Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany’s Euro hopes was tarnished by persistent injuries. The 30-year-old suffered a lot of muscle injuries in the recently concluded season, and saw his season cut short by a thigh injury, which he picked up against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final. The centre back only managed 22 appearances for Man City last season, and was replaced in the Belgium squad by Jason Denayer, who was on loan from Man City at Galatasaray.

5. Raphael Varane (France)

Another Champions League winner with Real Madrid, and another one to miss out on the European Championship. A nailed on starter for France, Varane got injured during a training session with the club. A second-degree hamstring tear ruled him out of the Champions League final and the European championship which will be hosted by his country. Varane was replaced by Sevilla defender Adil Rami, but the 23-year-old’s absence is sure to leave a big hole in the French defence.

Other notable absentees: Mahmadou Sakho, Aymeric Laporte, Kurt Zouma, Jeremy Mathieu (all France), Dejan Lovren (Croatia), Javi Martinez (Spain)

Central Midfielders

6. Andrea Pirlo (Italy)

The 37-yer-old midfield maestro played in the last three editions of Euro in 2004, 2008, and 2012. But Pirlo did not find his name in the squad this time around after he was left out by Italy coach Antonio Conte. The midfielder’s decision to leave Serie A last year to join New York City FC in MLS was one of the reasons for his ouster from Conte’s plans for the European Championship.

“We evaluated [Pirlo] and Giovinco, it’s normal that if you choose to go and play MLS then you can pay the consequences in footballing terms,” said Conte making it clear MLS’ role in Pirlo’s ouster.

7. Ilkay Gundogan (Germany)

lkay Gundogan was in the news recently after securing a move to Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund. But, the midfielder’s hope of catching a flight to France ended a month ago after dislocating a kneecap in training. The playmaker, who also missed the 2014 World Cup with a back problem, has been hampered by injuries. A fit Bastian Schweinsteiger, and a Champions League winner Toni Kroos can form the central midfield pairing for the Germans, covering Gundogan’s absence in the tournament.

Other notable absentees: Marco Verratti (Italy), Claudio Marchisio (Italy)

Wingers

8. Hatem Ben Arfa (France)

After a terrible time in English Premier League with Newcastle United and Hull City, Ben Arfa returned to his homeland at the start of last season in a bid to resurrect his career. The attacking midfielder moved to Nice and scored 18 goals in 36 appearances to grab the limelight once again, in what was a dwindling international career. But, French coach Didier Deschamps opted to leave out the 29-year-old with a lot of similar players in the squad. Ben Arfa is named among the reserves, and will need a player to pull out to make it to the squad in the Euros.

9. Marco Reus (Germany)

Just like his former Borussia Dortmund teammate Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus also missed out on the Euros after picking up an adductor injury, which was aggravated in the DFB-Pokal final loss against Bayern Munich last month. The attacking midfielder, who also missed the 2014 World Cup due to an injury, scored 19 goals for the German club this season and looked set for a starting berth in Joachim Low’s squad before his luck ran out. Schalke wonderkid Leroy Sane boarded the flight to France instead of Reus.

Other notable absentees: Santi Cazorla, Juan Mata, Isco (all Spain), Karim Bellarabi (Germany),

Strikers

10. Diego Costa (Spain)

The 27-year-old striker was in decent form in a disastrous campaign for Chelsea last season, scoring 14 goals. But, Costa found no place in Vicente del Bosque’s 23-man squad as he struggled to carry his club form to the international stage. Concerns about his fitness and the form of the other strikers also played part in Costa’s ouster from the squad.

11. Karim Benzema (France)

28 goals in 36 appearances for Real Madrid and a Champions League medal around his neck--Benzema has enjoyed a stellar in Real’s colours, but off-field issues saw him not making to the French squad for the Euros. Benzema was suspended indefinitely from the France national team in April, after being charged with conspiracy to blackmail national team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

Other notable absentees: Danny Welbeck (England), Fernando Torres (Spain), Alexandre Lacazette (France)

All Images Courtesy: © Gettyimages & Facebook

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