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  • Updated: May 12, 2021

Van Dijk Rules Himself Out Of Euro 2020 Netherlands' Team

Van Dijk Rules Himself Out Of Euro 2020 Netherlands' Team

Van Dijk - goal.com

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk on Wednesday ruled himself out of the Netherlands squad for Euro 2020 to focus on being fit for the start of the next Premier League season.

The influential centre-back, who captains his national side, has been out of action for seven months after undergoing surgery on a ruptured cruciate ligament in his right knee.

He admitted he had been in a "bad place" at the start of his recovery but said he now felt more positive after 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 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.

"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, 29, said he was "gutted" to be missing the delayed European Championship, which starts next month, but was at peace with his decision.

"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.

Van Dijk has not played for Liverpool since suffering knee damage in an ugly challenge from Everton keeper Jordan Pickford during a 2-2 Premier League draw in October.

READ ALSO: Van Dijk Might Not Be Ready For Euro — Frank de Boer

His absence, plus long-term injuries to fellow senior Liverpool centre-backs Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, helped derail the club's title defence, leaving them facing an uphill battle to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp's men are sixth in the Premier League, seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and have just four games left to play.

The Dutch begin their Euro 2020 campaign on 13 June against Ukraine followed by matches with Austria and North Macedonia, all to be played in Amsterdam.

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