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Netherlands suffer major injury blow as Barcelona star ruled out of Euro 2024

Netherlands suffer major injury blow ahead of Euro 2024
© Reuters
Netherlands confirm that Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong will miss Euro 2024 in Germany due to injury.

Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong has been ruled out of Euro 2024 due to an ankle injury.

The Barcelona man has struggled to reach full fitness since sustaining the ankle problem in a goalless draw against Athletic Bilbao on March 3.

De Jong has played just three matches since being forced off at San Mames, appearing in both Champions League quarter-final matches against Paris Saint-Germain as well as April's El Clasico.

However, De Jong has not kicked a ball in anger since being withdrawn in first-half stoppage time against Real Madrid.

Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman still decided to include De Jong in his Euro 2024 squad despite the obvious concerns over his fitness.

De Jong to miss Euro 2024 through injury

Unfortunately for the 27-year-old, he has ultimately lost the race to recover in time for this summer's tournament in Germany.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, the Netherlands said: "Frenkie de Jong won't participate at Euro 2024. We are with you, Frenkie."

De Jong took to Instagram to comment on his absence, stating: "I'm sad and disappointed that I won't make it to the European Championship. We've been doing a lot of it the past few weeks, but my ankle needs more time unfortunately.

"It's a dream and greatest honour to represent our country in a final tournament. Wearing the orange shirt, singing the Wilhelmus and feeling the support of the entire country. But now I will, like the entire orange legion, cheer for our team from the sidelines. Let's go, boys."

De Jong's absence represents a considerable blow to the Netherlands due to his technical ability and wealth of international experience.

The Barcelona midfielder has earned 54 caps for his country and started each of his country's matches at Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup.

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman reacts on March 22, 2024© Reuters

What are Koeman's alternative midfield options?

Although De Jong's injury represents a significant setback, Koeman can still call upon a number of top-quality options, including Jerdy Schouten and Joey Veerman.

The PSV Eindhoven duo are among the contenders to feature in the Netherlands's double-pivot, while Koeman has the option of turning to Ryan Gravenberch and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Atalanta's Teun Koopmeiners is another midfield option, but there are concerns over his fitness after he was forced to withdraw from Monday's 4-0 win over Iceland.

The 26-year-old complained of some muscle discomfort in the warm-up and will now have to be assessed ahead of his country's tournament opener against Poland on June 16.

Netherlands will face 2022 World Cup finalists France in their second fixture, before they wrap up the group stage with a game against Austria.

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Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman reacts on November 18, 2023
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Netherlands announce Euro 2024 squad - Who makes the cut? Which stars have missed out?
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Sunday, June 16
Monday, June 17
Tuesday, June 18
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Thursday, June 20
Group Stage
Friday, June 21
Saturday, June 22
Sunday, June 23
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Saturday, June 29
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Monday, July 1
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Tables header RHS

Group A

1 Germany Germany11003
2 Switzerland Switzerland11003
3 Hungary Hungary10010
4 Scotland flag Scotland10010

Group B

1 Spain Spain11003
2 Italy Italy11003
3 Albania national flag Albania10010
4 Croatia Croatia10010

Group C

1 Denmark Denmark00000
2 England flag England00000
3 Serbia Serbia00000
4 Slovenia Slovenia00000

Group D

1 Netherlands Netherlands11003
2 Austria Austria00000
3 France France00000
4 Poland Poland10010

Group E

1 Belgium Belgium00000
2 Romania Romania00000
3 Slovakia Slovakia00000
4 Ukraine Ukraine00000

Group F

1 Czech Republic Czech Republic00000
2 Georgia Georgia00000
3 Portugal Portugal00000
4 Turkey Turkey00000

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