Van Dijk to skip Euro 2020 with Netherlands to focus on Liverpool return

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 12, 2021, 05:58 PM(IST)

Virgil van Dijk Photograph:( Reuters )

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Ace Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has ruled himself out of the Euro 2020 to be fit for the start of the Premier League season 2021-22. The development comes as a huge blow to the Netherlands squad, who will now miss the center-back for the marquee tournament, scheduled later in the year.

Ace Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has ruled himself out of the Euro 2020 to be fit for the start of the Premier League season 2021-22. The development comes as a huge blow to the Netherlands squad, who will now miss the center-back for the marquee tournament, scheduled later in the year.

Van Dijk, the skipper of the Netherlands, has been out of action for seven months after undergoing surgery on a ruptured cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The Dutch brute admitted to being in a “bad place” at the start of his recovery process but added he is now more positive about returning to light running.

"I've just progressed nicely," he told Liverpool's website. "In this latest stage for myself, I have come to a decision that I had to make -- would I be involved in the Euros, yes or no?

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"With everything that is going on, I feel physically it is the right decision that I've decided not to go to the Euros and to go into my last phase of rehab during the off-season.

"So the full focus will be on pre-season with the club and that's a realistic goal, so I am looking forward to that."

Van Dijk further said he was “gutted” to be missing the delayed Euro 2020, which starts in June, but was at peace with the call.

"The surgeon is very happy with everything that is going on and, as I said, the good thing is I've not really had a setback so far and hopefully that will not happen," he added.

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Notably, Van Dijk would be 31 before he can make his major tournament debut in the international circuit.

"I think this decision has definitely been the right one, in my opinion, to give my body and my knee a little bit more extra time to get ready for hopefully a big, big 18 months at least with the club but also with my country because we're trying to go to the next tournament after this as well and that starts in September," he said.

He added: "Obviously I want to be back out there, I want to be helping my team-mates, helping my country in this case and I obviously want to help the club, but I think it's the right thing to do to stay a little bit more patient and work even harder during the off-season and get ready."

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