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Football

Virgil Van Dijk reluctantly rules himself out of Holland’s Euro 2020 squad

A “gutted” Virgil Van Dijk has reluctantly ruled himself out Holland’s squad for Euro 2020 in order for him to concentrate on being fully fit for the start of next season with Liverpool.

The influential centre-back has been out for seven months after undergoing surgery on a cruciate ligament in his right knee which was ruptured in a challenge with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in October.

After being in a “bad place” at the start of his recovery he now feels more positive after returning to light running but he does not believe the time is right to push harder in order to captain Holland this summer.

“I have come to a decision that I had to make: would I be involved in the Euros, yes or no?,” he told liverpoolfc.com.

Van Dijk has been out for the majority of this season after an injury suffered at the hands of Jordan Pickford. Credit: PA

“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.

“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.”

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Football