Haaland, Rashford, Gavi and the other big names who will miss Euro 2024

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Haaland, Rashford, Gavi and the other big names who will miss Euro 2024

Joel Omotto 07:05 - 10.06.2024

As Euro 2024 fast approaches, there are several big-name players who will not take part due to various reasons and here are 11 that will be dearly missed.

Euro 2024 will begin on June 14 in Germany with the hosts taking on Scotland.

However, this year’s tournament will not have some of the world’s biggest names either through injury, fallouts or failure to qualify.

Pulse Sports highlights 11 big names that will not be in Germany for the month-long tournament.

Thibaut Courtois (Belgium)

Thibaut Courtois, Real Madrid goalkeeper || @Fabrizio on Twitter

Thibaut Courtois, the star goalkeeper for Real Madrid, will not participate in Euro 2024 due to a very public and bitter feud with Belgium national team coach Domenico Tedesco.

Despite overcoming significant injuries—a torn ACL in his left knee during pre-season and damage to the internal meniscus in his right knee in March—Courtois returned to action for Real Madrid on May 4 in their La Liga victory over Cadiz.

The conflict between Courtois and Tedesco erupted last summer. Tedesco claimed that Courtois missed the Euro 2024 qualifier against Estonia because he was unhappy about not being awarded the captain's armband.

In a statement ahead of the March international break, Tedesco remarked, "I tried everything to take him to the European Championship this summer, but the last thing I heard was that he didn't feel ready to go. It was clear and honest on his part."

Courtois, however, did not take these comments lightly. He responded on social media with three Pinocchio emojis, effectively accusing Tedesco of lying.

Reece James (England)

Reece James has struggled with injuries over the past 3 seasons | Premier League Image

The Chelsea right-back confidently announced on social media at the end of February that "the comeback is coming."

However, his return to action was delayed until mid-May and did not go as planned. In his brief comeback, James was sent off in the second of just two appearances before the end of the season.

Given his recent struggles, England manager Gareth Southgate decided not to include James in the squad for Euro 2024 for two main reasons. Firstly, the 24-year-old, who has a long history of hamstring problems, was severely lacking in match fitness.

Secondly, Southgate has a wealth of options in the right-back position, making it easier to omit James from the roster.

Lucas Hernandez (France)

Lucas Hernandez of France and PSG | Credit: Instagram

Lucas Hernandez's hopes of participating in Euro 2024 were dashed following another severe injury. The versatile defender's 2022 World Cup campaign ended abruptly after just 13 minutes when he ruptured the ACL in his right leg during France's opening group game against Australia. Unfortunately, history repeated itself when Hernandez suffered the same injury to his left knee in Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League semi-final first-leg loss to Borussia Dortmund.

The 28-year-old, capable of playing both centre-half and left-back, has already undergone surgery for the latest injury. Medical experts predict that Hernandez will be sidelined until 2025, ruling him out of all competitive action for the foreseeable future, including Euro 2024.

Harry Maguire (England)

Manchester United and England defender Harry Maguire | Imago

Despite a challenging start to the season, Harry Maguire had played himself into decent form during the second half of the campaign.

However, a calf injury has curtailed his season and dashed his hopes of participating in the tournament in Germany.

Maguire's absence is a bitter blow for the 31-year-old defender, who has been a regular fixture in England's defence.

Given Southgate's current shortage of quality centre-backs, Maguire was expected to play a pivotal role in the squad. His experience and leadership would have been invaluable, especially in a major tournament setting.

David Alaba (Austria)

David Alaba is one of the highest-paid players in Real Madrid.

Unlike his teammates Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militao, who also suffered an ACL tear this season, Alaba had no chance of returning before the end of the campaign. The versatile Austrian defender sustained his injury in December during the first half of a La Liga match against Villarreal.

Alaba's absence is a significant blow to both Real Madrid and the Austrian national team. His injury ruled him out for the remainder of the season, and he will not be fit in time to participate in Euro 2024. This injury deprives Austria of one of their most experienced and versatile players, who has been a key figure in their defence.

Gavi (Spain)

Gavi gets Injured during international duty || Imago

Barcelona directed blame towards Spain coach Luis de la Fuente for the serious injury that midfielder Gavi sustained during a Euro 2024 qualifier against Georgia last November.

The match, deemed by many as insignificant since Spain had already secured their spot in the tournament three days earlier by defeating Cyprus, saw Gavi suffer "a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and an associated injury to the lateral meniscus" just 24 minutes into the game in Valladolid.

Gavi was one of only two players who retained their starting positions from the Cyprus match, a decision that infuriated Barcelona when he was forced off with a severe injury.

In response to the backlash, de la Fuente dismissed allegations that Gavi was at risk of burnout, maintaining that the teenager was "fresh" and fully fit to play. "This can happen in any situation," he argued. "It was an accident, a misfortune. He was perfect to play."

Despite these assurances, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has reportedly decided that Gavi will not be called up for international duty again until next year. Although Gavi is expected to recover in time for the start of the 2024-25 campaign, he will miss Euro 2024, depriving Spain of one of their brightest young talents.

Paul Pogba (France)

Paul Pogba disappointment || Imago

Paul Pogba was left "heartbroken" by the news of his four-year ban for testing positive for a banned substance, which was announced last August.

The Juventus midfielder tested positive for testosterone metabolites and insists he never knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs. Should he fail to overturn the suspension on appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Pogba's career with both Juventus and the French national team is likely over.

Martin Odegaard (Norway)

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard | Imago

Despite the presence of Arsenal playmaker Martin Odegaard, Norway's hopes of qualifying for Euro 2024 were dashed.

The Norwegian national team hasn't appeared in the Euros since 2000, and this campaign highlighted their ongoing struggles. Odegaard, who has been exceptional for Arsenal, underperformed in the qualifiers, contributing just two goal involvements and failing to exert the same influence as he does at the Emirates Stadium.

As captain, Odegaard's inability to inspire his national team to success contrasts starkly with his leadership and technical prowess at the club level.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will likely appreciate that his star player will get a well-deserved rest during the off-season, but there's a collective sense of disappointment that a player of Odegaard's caliber won't be showcasing his talents on the biggest international stage.

Marcus Rashford (England)

Marcus Rashford was suspended after a straight red card against Copenhagen || Credit: Getty image

Despite being one of England's standout forwards during the 2022 World Cup, Marcus Rashford was excluded from Gareth Southgate's preliminary squad for Euro 2024.

The Manchester United star's omission follows a challenging season in which he managed to score only eight goals in 43 appearances across all competitions.

Rashford's dip in form at the club level has been a significant factor in Southgate's decision. "With Marcus, I just feel that other players in that area of the pitch had better seasons," Southgate explained. "It's as simple as that."

Serge Gbabry (Germany)

Serge Gnabry's hopes of participating in Euro 2024 were dashed following a hamstring injury sustained during Bayern Munich's Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid.

The injury occurred just 27 minutes into the match, marking the end of a turbulent season for the German winger.

Gnabry had faced a series of setbacks throughout the season, including an injury that sidelined him for the March internationals.

Despite these challenges, he was optimistic about making the Germany squad for the Euros after returning to form in time for the critical phase of the season.

Unfortunately, the hamstring injury ruled him out for an unspecified period, effectively ending his aspirations for the tournament.

Erling Haaland (Norway)

Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland netted a hat-trick in Norway's victory over Kosovo (Imago) Erling Haaland is nearing Jorgen Juve's Norway goalscoring record after a hat-trick against Kosovo (Imago)

Erling Haaland, widely regarded as the world's best striker, faces the grim reality of possibly never playing in a major international tournament.

Despite his impressive tally of six goals in the Euro 2024 qualifiers, Norway failed to secure a spot in the play-offs, finishing six points behind Group A runners-up Scotland.

Haaland's campaign was hampered by an injury that limited him to just five appearances, highlighting Norway's overreliance on the Manchester City superstar. His absence during crucial matches underscored the need for Norway to develop a more balanced and cohesive team if they hope to qualify for future tournaments.