The world class starting XI and seven subs that will not be taking part in Euro 2016
The European Championships will showcase some of the continent’s greatest talent… but here Alan Tyers picks an XI, and seven subs, who sadly won’t be gracing the tournament with their presence this summer. We reckon this side could give any team in France a run for their money.
Tim Krul (Holland) GK
Written into World Cup legend when he came on as a 120th minute sub to win Holland a penalty shootout against Costa Rica in Brazil but he, like every other Dutch player, will be watching from the comfort of a lovely pancake shop this summer after the Clockwork Orange failed to qualify.
Dani Carvajal (Spain) RB
Real Madrid’s right back got himself a muscular injury to his right leg in the Champions League Final and will miss out. Arsenal's Hector Bellerin is the man who takes his place.
Vincent Kompany (Belgium) CB
Manchester City’s big man has had injury worries all season and a recent calf problem has ruled him out. Marc Wilmots is also missing defenders Nicolas Lombaerts and Dedryck Boyata.
Kurt Zouma (France) CB
Zouma’s pace and strength will be missed by the hosts, who have problems at centre half. Also missing is Raphaël Varane of Real Madrid, who was unlucky enough to get hurt in training prior to the Champions League Final.
Luke Shaw (England) LB
The Manchester United man was looking like Ashely Cole’s long-term successor as a classy, reliable full-back but his awful September 2015 double leg-break has kept him out of action ever since. Has returned to training with everyone’s good wishes; England will have to make do with the honest but inferior Danny Rose or Ryan Bertrand.
Santi Cazorla (Spain) RM
Two-footed Arsenal magician has been fighting back hard from injury but has been unable to probe that he deserves a chance in what you have to say is quite a competitive midfield. Juan Mata of Manchester United is also out of favour.
Marco Verratti (Italy) CM
“I suffered a great deal when learning I’d have to miss the tournament due to injury, but football is like that,” said the PSG midfield pocket battleship of his inability to come back from a sports hernia in time.
Andrea Pirlo (Italy) CM
Devastating news for all who enjoy the beautiful side of the beautiful game, the Juventus central midfield artist has been omitted from Antonio Conte’s squad. Naturally, the great man handled it graciously, saying: “He is the coach and it's only right he makes his decisions” and leaving it to others to wail “Why? Why, Conte? Why?”
Arjen Robben (Holland) LM
A sad day for sportsmanship: popularity’s Arjen misses out, as does Daley Blind and indeed every other Dutch person you can think of. It’s a massive setback for Game Of Thrones favourite Carice van Houten, who plays topless priestess Melisandre.
Karim Benzema (France) CF
When you are omitted from the FRENCH squad because the country’s FA president thinks that your inclusion might upset harmony, you know that you are a pretty tough guy to get along with. Les Bleus have been synonymous with infighting, but France Football Federation grand fromage Noel Le Graet felt that the Real Madrid striker had "done something really stupid" over the Mathieu Valbuena affair and he was left out of the hosts’ squad.
Diego Costa (Spain) CF
Having won the World Cup without a striker, Vicente del Bosque did not feel moved to change his plans to accommodate the out-of-form Chelsea irritant. Referees no doubt greeted Diego’s squad snubbage with relief.
Diego Benaglio (Switzerland) GK
Still on 32, and doing a job for Wolfsburg, the former Swiss captain announced his retirement from international football after the 2014 World Cup, a highlight of which was saving a penalty from Karim Benzema.
Philipp Lahm (Germany) FB/CM
Immense experience and class. Sadly, Germany will have to make do without Lahm’s qualities: he will not be lured out of international retirement. Clubmate Franck Ribéry, on the other hand, has been making noises about a possible comeback.
Miralem Pjanić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) CM
Elegant Roma playmaker saw his Euro 2016 ambitions thwarted by Ireland in the play-offs.
Franck Ribery (France) RM/LM
Bayern Munich winger decided to retire from international football after the 2014 World Cup, and despite making noises about changing his mind, has stuck to his guns.
Alan Dzagoev (Russia) LM
For years, no England tournament preparation was complete without anxious daily updates about a key player’s metatarsal. Russians have already had to accept that said broken foot bone is keeping their star man, who plays for CSKA Moscow, out of the squad. Good news for their group rivals, who include England.
Christian Eriksen (Denmark) AMC
Lists of players who will be missed at summer tournaments were often dominated by Zlatan, but this year, the superstar will be on show. His Swedish team having sneaked through the play-offs at the expense another lovely player, Denmark and Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen.
Marco Reus (Germany) CF
The omission of the Borussia Dortmund man was a major surprise, partly because of his pace and eye for goal (49 in 108 for his current club) but also because of his versatility. Can play up front, in attacking midfield or out wide – but just not for Germany this summer: Joachim Löw has been worried about the players fitness, and cut him from the squad… on his birthday. Ouch.