As all the Euro 2016 squads are announced, Football Ticket Pad has selected a ‘Missing XI’ made up of players who have been overlooked by their nation for this summer’s Euro 2016 Championships in France.
Players who have retired from international football or are missing through injury have not been considered and we have come up with a team which would be more than capable of challenging for honours at Euro 2016!
Pepe Reina: Despite only having 30 Spain caps to his name, Reina is still a big name absentee with his experience after being part of both of Spain’s Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 triumphs, as well as the 2010 World Cup. The Napoli stopper has missed out on a place in the squad with David De Gea, Iker Casillas and Rico preferred in goal.
Ignazio Abate: The marauding AC Milan full-back has missed out on a place in Antonio Conte’s Euro 2016 squad after an inconsistent season in Milan. Abate struggled with injuries and lost his place in the side as AC Milan slumped to a 7th place finish in Serie A. Abate was part of the Italy side that made the Euro 2012 final and he also appeared for the Azzurri in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Dejan Lovren: The centre back has impressed this season at Liverpool and looks revitalised under Jurgen Klopp having well and truly established himself at Anfield. However, Croatia coach, Ante Cacic and Lovren’s relationship has soured after falling-out during a friendly in March, with Lovren an unused substitute. Lovren then asked for a starting place guarantee in the side which has left Cacic to leave the defender out of his squad this summer.
Javi Martinez: The 27-year old is a high profile absentee having helped Bayern Munich to a league and cup double this season. The defensive player has struggled with injuries this season and Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has overlooked Martinez who will be unable to add to his 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euro winners medals.
Marcel Schmelzer: The Borussia Dortmund left back has been left out by Joachim Low, who has chosen to take only one left back to France in the shape of Jonas Hector. Schmelzer has flourished this season under Thomas Tuchel at Dortmund and is very unlucky not be be on the plane with Germany this summer.
Andrea Pirlo: The legendary Italian may be getting on a bit at the age of 37, but there is still no doubting Pirlo’s quality and leadership. Piro played for Italy at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Euro Championships. However, the 2010 World Cup winner has lost his place since leaving Juventus in Serie A to join New York City FC in MLS last year.
Isco: Spain have an abundance of talent in their midfield and the Real Madrid star is one of the major casualties after being omitted from Vicente Del Bosque’s Spain Euro 2016 squad. The array of talent in his position is frightening and despite regular appearances for both club and country in recent times, Isco has been overlooked. Atletico Madrid’s Koke and Real Madrid team-mate Lucas Vasquez the preferred options, despite their apparent inexperience at international level.
Juan Mata: Similar to Isco, Mata has also been left out and will feel aggrieved to not be on the plane to France. Del Bosque has opted for a more youthful approach with Villarreal’s Bruno and Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara have sneaked in ahead of the United playmaker despite his 41 caps.
Diego Costa: Last summer Diego Costa was earmarked as one of Europe’s best strikers after leading Chelsea to the Premier League title. However one year on and Costa has had a turn in fortune with concerns over his fitness and an inconsistent season at Chelsea. Costa finished the season with a flourish but Del Bosque has overlooked the striker after only scoring one goal in Euro qualifying.
Karim Benzema: Perhaps the biggest high profile omission from all of the Euro squads. Karim Benzema has been left out as the investigation into an alleged sex tape scandal continues. Benzema has not appeared since the scandal was made public in August 2015 and he will be a big miss for the host nation after his 28 goals this season for Real Madrid.
Fernando Torres: Torres has been a Spain regular in recent years and was part of the squad which fired the nation to World Cup glory in 2010 and European glory in 2012 and 2014. The fan favourite has over 100 caps for Spain and won the Golden Boot at Euro 2012. Yet despite having an impressive season at Atletico Madrid, it was ultimately not enough to salvage a place in the Spain Euro 2016 squad.
Substitutes: Kevin Trapp, Nacho Monreal, Philippe Senderos, Danny Drinkwater, Hatem Ben Arfa, Santi Cazorla, Mario Balotelli
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