Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has ruled himself out of playing at Euro 2020 with Netherlands this summer in order to focus on regaining full fitness.
Van Dijk suffered an ACL injury during a contentious Merseyside derby against Everton back in October, which forced him to undergo surgery. It was always expected that he might not return to action before the end of the season, but the 29-year-old will not take the risk of rushing back for Euro 2020.
While Van Dijk has represented the Netherlands at the UEFA Nations League finals before now, this is the first major summer tournament that the country have qualified for while he has been an international and he admitted that withdrawing from contention was a ‘tough’ decision to make.
“Things have been going well, I’ve not had a real setback or anything, I’ve just progressed nicely,” the player told LiverpoolFC.com.
“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? 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.
“The full focus will be on pre-season with the club and that’s a realistic goal, so I am looking forward to that. Obviously I am very gutted to miss the Euros and leading out my own country there, but things have been like they have and I have to accept it – we all have to accept it.
"I think the decision to not go is the right decision in the grand scheme of things. It’s tough, but I’m at peace with it.”