Virgil van Dijk has confirmed that he will not be representing the Netherlands at Euro 2020. Since last October, the Liverpool defender has been out with an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury. And his absence has been felt by the Reds, who are struggling to qualify for next season’s Champions League with four games remaining.
Van Dijk was expected to return in time for the Netherlands’ Euro 2020 campaign, which begins on June 13 against Ukraine. Frank de Boer, the national team boss, had expressed his desire to call on Van Dijk, despite reports that he may refuse to go to the tournament because of Liverpool’s wishes.
The 29-year-old, however, has ruled himself out of Euro 2020 this summer to conclude the final stages of his rehabilitation.
“I had to make a call, will I be interested with the Euros, yes or no? Given all that’s going on, I believe it’s the best decision for me to skip the Euros and focus on my final period of recovery during the off-season. And my whole concentration will be on pre-season with the club, which is a practical target for me, so I am looking forward to it.
I’m devastated to be missing the Euros, the European Championship, and leading my own country to victory. In the grand scheme of things, I believe the decision not to go was the right one. It’s difficult, so I’m okay with it,” he told Liverpool’s official website.
Van Dijk maintains that as the current season finishes, he will prepare more than ever to ensure he is set for the 2021/22 season.
He added: “When the season ends, it doesn’t always end for me. I’ll practice every day and continue to do so until pre-season begins. Obviously, there will be some kind of rest for a couple of days. But I want to be ready, so I’ll do whatever I can to prepare, as is natural. It’s something I’m looking forward to. It would be a little better now that the sun will be shining again. I’ll keep running, and that’s the one thing I can guarantee: I’ll keep going no matter what happens. It’s all for the best.
I am heartbroken that I will not be attending the Euros. But it is the best decision I will make at this moment and hopefully in the future.”