Injured Van Dijk the big absentee in Dutch Euro squad

The Hague (AFP) –


Dutch coach Frank de Boer announced his squad for Euro 2020 on Wednesday with injured Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk forced to sit out the delayed championships.

The influential centre-back, who captains his national side, ruled himself out of contention this month to focus on recovering from the ruptured cruciate ligament in his right knee which has kept him sidelined for seven months.

De Boer was able to include in the 26-man party Daley Blind, the Ajax left-back nursing a recent ankle injury.

Ten players from the Dutch league's Eredivisie joined the likes of Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus) and Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan) from Serie A, Manchester United's Donny van de Beek, Van Dijk's Liverpool teammate, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona.

Sven Botman, who helped Lille deny Paris Saint-Germain for the French Ligue 1 title, was not included.

De Boer's squad leaves for Faro in Portugal on Saturday for a training camp and a friendly with Scotland on June 2.

Another warm-up is scheduled four days later against Georgia on their return home.

The Oranje open their Euro campaign against Ukraine on June 13 followed by Austria (June 17) and North Macedonia (June 21).

All three matches take place at Amsterdam's Johan Cruyff Arena in front of an anticipated crowd of 12,500.

The Netherlands, European champions in 1988, are returning to the international stage after failing to qualify for Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.

Netherlands squad

Goaalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Valencia/ESP), Tim Krul (Norwich City/ENG), Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax)

Defenders:: Daley Blind (Ajax), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus/ITA), Joël Veltman (Brighton/ENG), Denzel Dumfries (PSV Eindhoven), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan/ITA), Nathan Ake (Manchester City/ENG), Owen Wijndal (AZ Alkmaar), Jurien Timber (Ajax), Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace/ENG)

Midfielders: Donny van de Beek (Manchester United/ENG), Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona/ESP), Marten de Roon (Atalanta/ITA), Teun Koopmeiners (AZ Alkmaar), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool/ENG)

Forwards: Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Cody Gakpo (PSV Eindhoven), Luuk de Jong Sevilla/ESP), Donyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven), Memphis Depay (Lyon/FRA), Wout Weghorst (VfL Wolfsburg/GER), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moscou/RUS)