June 12, 2021

The best XI of players not going to Euro 2020 including Ramos and Upamecano

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The delayed Euro 2020 will begin next week and each nation’s final squads have been confirmed.

Instead of having one host country like in years gone by, the best players from around the continent will compete across 11 major European cities to mark the tournament’s 60th anniversary.

24 teams will face off between Friday 11 June and Sunday 11 July with limited to full capacities permitted in every stadium.

Tuesday evening’s deadline saw every federation confirm their squad of up to 26 players – an expansion on the regular 23 due to potential COVID-19 outbreaks in team bases.

Every manager has had headaches over who to take and who to leave at home, sparking debate in every corner of the continent.

32 national teams will compete for the Henri Delaunay trophy by playing across Europe
32 national teams will compete for the Henri Delaunay trophy by playing across Europe

Snubs are our focus for this XI, so players such as Erling Haaland and Jan Oblak – whose nations failed to qualify -will not feature.

Nor will injured stars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Dani Carvajal, or anyone who has retired from the international game such as Ivan Rakitic or Jamie Vardy.

Here, Mirror Football takes a look at the best XI of players snubbed by their nation for Euro 2020.

Goalkeeper: Illan Meslier

Young goalkeepers who ply their trade as a number one in Europe’s top five leagues are a rare commodity, so Premier League Young Player of the Year award nominee Meslier would be well within his rights to expect a place in his national team’s squad.

However, France – who are joint-favourites with England to win the tournament – generally prefer experienced options, which means a host of young talent will not feature for them this summer.

Along with new AC Milan stopper Mike Maignan, veterans Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda are in the squad, meaning there is no place for the Leeds United man.

Right wing-back: Jesus Navas

Navas has reinvented himself as a right-back at Sevilla, earning himself a place back in the national fold in 2019
Navas has reinvented himself as a right-back at Sevilla, earning himself a place back in the national fold in 2019

Having struggled to truly show what he can do over four years at Manchester City, Navas returned home to Sevilla in 2017 and has spent the last few seasons as a converted defender.

Despite being called up as recently as November, the 35-year-old has not been included in the squad that counts, despite there being no recognised right-back in Red Fury ranks – they might need to give Gareth Southgate a call.

Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta will likely operate in that role, while Navas’ omission is certainly not the most noteworthy in the Spain squad – more on that soon.

Right centre-back: Dayot Upamecano

One would assume that arguably the world’s most coveted young centre-back would have long been cemented in their senior national team setup – but £37million-rated Upamecano has not.

The soon-to-be Bayern Munich man was omitted from Didier Deschamps’ squad due to France’s embarrassment of riches all over the park.

Former RB Leipzig teammate and new Liverpool man Ibrahima Konate is also a notable absentee, with the likes of Raphael Varane and Kurt Zouma selected ahead of the pair.

Unfortunately for the omitted duo, they joined up with their nation’s under-21 side along with Meslier, and all three started as France suffered late heartache against the Netherlands in the Under-21 European Championship quarter-final on Monday.

At least Upamecano scored.

Centre-back: Sergio Ramos

Ramos was a key member of Spain's squad when they won back-to-back European Championships
Ramos was a key member of Spain’s squad when they won back-to-back European Championships

Real Madrid captain Ramos spearheads the list of Los Blancos names not included in Spain’s squad for a major tournament, with none included for the first time ever.

The 35-year-old lifted the trophy twice with his country, in 2008 and 2012 either side of a World Cup triumph.

But former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique cited injury-struck Ramos’ lack of consistent minutes this season as the primary reason for his omission, and Aymeric Laporte’s recent switch to Spanish citizenship reinforced his central rearguard options.

Not many gaffers would leave his leadership qualities behind, especially when Enrique has only chosen 24 players, but nevertheless, Ramos will have to watch the tournament with the rest of the Bernabeu gang.

Left centre-back: Jerome Boateng

This would be less of a surprise if Joachim Low had stuck to his profound post-2018 World Cup guns.

That year, the boss decided that he would not select 2014 heroes Boateng, Mats Hummels or Thomas Muller again in hope of refreshing the squad.

However, the latter pair have remarkably been recalled after reaffirming their quality over the past three seasons, while Boateng has been left at home despite playing more Bundesliga matches for Bayern this term than in any of his other campaigns in Munich.

Unless there is a personal issue, the ex-Manchester City star can feel aggrieved.

Left wing-back: Angelino

Staying in Germany and moving to another former Manchester City man – officially once the £16million deal is finalised in a months’ time – Enrique received considerably less flack for leaving Angelino out.

The dynamic wing-back has been excellent for Leipzig this season, scoring eight goals and laying on 11 assists under Bayern-bound coach Julian Nagelsmann, having failed to make the grade in Manchester.

Although he may well pick up a hefty signing-on bonus this summer, Angelino won’t be checking his bank balance from the Spain camp as Jordi Alba and Jose Gaya scrap for the left-back spot.

Central midfield: Eduardo Camavinga

Only two players in France's history made their debuts at a younger age than Camavinga
Only two players in France’s history made their debuts at a younger age than Camavinga

It seems strange for a player who could potentially cost £100million not to be competing in a major international tournament despite his nation qualifying, but that might just apply to Camavinga.

The Rennes midfielder went down as France’s third-youngest debutant of all-time when he made his bow at 17 years and 303 days last September.

Many had him down to be selected for Les Blues amid speculation that it would take nine figures to take him out of north-west France this summer.

Deschamps had other ideas, though, instead leaving him to sit on the bench for the U21s.

Central midfield: Dani Parejo

As you have probably noticed, Enrique’s omissions are dominating this list thanks to his gluttonous set of riches like those boasted by France.

The recent Europa League winner with Villarreal is one of the continent’s most classy midfielders and has a wicked set-piece delivery that would cause any defence trouble.

Parejo’s teammate Gerard Moreno has made the cut along with defender Pau Torres, but sadly for the 32-year-old former Valencia captain, he has not.

Central midfield: Saul Niguez

Saul helped Atletico as they claimed the La Liga crown last month
Saul helped Atletico as they claimed the La Liga crown last month

Having played a pivotal role in Atletico Madrid’s title triumph this past term, Saul has been denied the chance of surpassing the 20-cap mark this summer and is another Spaniard who will be supporting from home.

A left-footed player capable of driving forward as much as protecting the back line, the 26-year-old is reportedly on the radar of Manchester United, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain.

Again, Spain’s other midfield options make this omission somewhat understandable, as Saul offers similar attributes to the likes of Fabian Ruiz and Atletico teammate Koke.

Striker: Danny Ings

If Euro 2020 was not delayed, then Southampton striker Ings would have no problem earning a call-up, following 22 Premier League goals in 2019-20.

However, the form of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and even Ollie Watkins saw the Saints talisman edge out of the picture despite 12 top-flight strikes for the 28-year-old in an injury-hit campaign.

Offering effective pressing and a more bullish approach, Ings’ characteristics would have complimented Harry Kane and DCL, but like Watkins, he will not be on the plane – or bus, most likely – to Wembley.

Forward: Myron Boadu

A teenage Boadu battled with Manchester United last season in the Europa League
A teenage Boadu battled with Manchester United last season in the Europa League

The sensation who scored the 93rd-minute winner for the Dutch in the aforementioned U21 last-eight match, Boadu will feel hard-done-by not to make the senior Netherlands squad.

Other notable absentees include Lille defender Sven Botman and Tottenham Hotspur winger Steven Bergwijn.

15 goals in 31 Eredivisie games for AZ Alkmaar this season showed Boadu’s scoring pedigree, while Bayern Munich are reportedly after the versatile frontman’s signature.

Potentially the extra firepower Frank de Boer’s side have been lacking, Boadu’s form for the youth team has done him no harm for future call-ups.

How do you think this XI would fare at EURO 2020? Comment below.

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