David Villa, Jack Wilshere, Giuseppe Rossi & the injured stars who are missing Euro 2012

Goal.com looks at the players whose hopes of representing their countries in Ukraine and Poland this summer have been cruelly ended
By Sam Lee

By Tuesday afternoon, 368 players will know for certain that they will be able to represent their countries at the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

Others will have been called into the coach’s office and told that they have not made the grade.

But an unfortunate few will have known for some time that they will not be joining up with their teammates at all, and will have already made plans to help pass the time this summer.

Below, Goal.com examines the injured stars who have had the opportunity to help their teams to glory taken away from them.


The Barcelona defender will spend the summer recuperating after undergoing a liver transplant in April, having initially had a cancerous tumour removed in 2011. From a footballing perspective, losing the popular Abidal will be a big blow for coach Laurent Blanc, who is also missing Tottenham’s Younes Kaboul through a knee injury.


The 31-year-old enjoyed the most successful club season of his career as Manchester City won the Premier League on a dramatic final day. Barry was set to travel to Euro 2012 high on confidence and as an important cog of England's midfield. However, having been named in the squad for Poland and Ukraine, the ex-Aston Villa star then had to pull out after suffering a lower abdomen muscle tear in the pre-finals friendly against Norway.


The Shakhtar Donetsk defender has been plagued by thigh injuries this term, and has not recovered in time to be considered by coach Oleg Blokhin. Meanwhile, first-choice goalkeeper Andriy Dikan is out after suffering a broken cheekbone and jaw in Spartak Moscow's game against Zenit St Petersburg, and his veteran back-up Oleksandr Shovkovskyi will miss out with shoulder ligament trouble.


The Feyenoord hot-shot, on loan from Manchester City, would have been in serious contention for a place in Sweden's starting line-up. As it is, he has not recovered from an infected nerve which led to a loss of feeling in his right leg. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, forever the main man, should soften the blow of Guidetti's loss. At the back, veteran centre-back Daniel Majstorovic, who ruptured his cruciate knee ligament in training ahead of February's friendly against Croatia, will be replaced by West Brom's Jonas Olsson.


Touted as the long-term replacement for Giovanni van Bronckhorst, the absence of 23-year-old Pieters with a foot injury sustained against RKC in April will be a big blow to Oranje preparations. Likely to be replaced by inexperienced PSV teammate Jetro Willems, Pieters’ absence could leave the Dutch vulnerable on the left-hand side of defence.


Barcelona’s battle-hardened captain was denied the opportunity to lead Spain’s defence of their European crown after undergoing a knee operation just a month before the tournament begins. La Roja are sure to miss their fiery leader, who picked up the injury during the Catalans’ 4-0 victory over city-rivals Espanyol.


The Italian missed much of the season after rupturing his cruciate knee ligament against Real Madrid in October, only to do it again in April and be sentenced to another 10 months on the sidelines. The Azzurri will hope his absence does not have a disastrous impact on their hopes, given that club side Villarreal were relegated without him.


By the time Abidal and Kaboul were ruled out, Les Bleus were already missing Sagna, who had broken his leg against Norwich at the start of May. The Arsenal right-back had returned to form after recovering from a similar injury sustained in October, and his absence will hamper French hopes of glory.


The man who became Spain's all-time record goalscorer during qualifying will not have the opportunity to add to his proud tally this summer. The Barcelona man fought in vain to be fit in time after breaking his tibia during the Club World Cup in December, and is arguably the biggest loss suffered by any nation.


The young Tottenham right-back, who was named the Premier League’s Young Player of the Year, was ruled out with a broken toe following the last game of the season against Fulham. With Micah Richards continually overlooked by England coaches, Walker would have held genuine hopes of a starting berth. And following Chris Smalling's groin injury, the Three Lions have been robbed of the opportunity to give two future stars vital tournament experience.


Another English youngster denied the chance to represent his country is Wilshere. Having fractured his ankle during Arsenal's pre-season friendly against New York Red Bulls back in August, Wilshere has not played a minute since. He was ruled out of the tournament in April after a series of set-backs, depriving England of a genuine creative threat.

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