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Euro 2016 missing men XI

Sports Mole selects a best XI of the footballers that will not be playing at next summer's European Championships in France.

Next summer some of European football's best players will descend on France to feature at Euro 2016.

However, due to some shock results during the qualification phase, a handful of the biggest names will be absent from the tournament.

Here, Sports Mole picks out a best XI made up of footballers from countries that were unable to secure one of the 23 places that were on offer.


Asmir Begovic (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Asmir Begovic of Chelsea gives instructions during the Pre Season Friendly match between Chelsea and Fiorentina at Stamford Bridge on August 5, 2015© Getty Images

The Chelsea goalkeeper played every minute of Bosnia's 10 qualifying encounters, but having finished third behind Belgium and Wales, they crashed out in the playoffs at the hands of the Republic of Ireland. He may not be in great form at present, but on his day Begovic is a very good keeper.

Aleksander Kolarov (Serbia)

Aleksandar Kolarov of Manchester City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park on September 12, 2015© Getty Images

With a wand for a left foot, the Serbian full-back will be missed in the Euros. Not only is the Manchester City man a capable defender, he is also likely to weigh in with his fair share of assists and goals, particularly from set-piece situations.

Daley Blind (Netherlands)

Daley Blind of Manchester United in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on September 26, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. © Getty Images

He may have been converted into a capable centre-back under Louis van Gaal's watch at Manchester United, yet Blind will play no part in France. The versatile 25-year-old was part of what can only be described as a disastrous Dutch qualifying campaign.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Greece)

Greece's defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos celebrates after scoring during a Round of 16 football match between Costa Rica and Greece at Pernambuco Arena in Recife during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 29, 2014© Getty Images

The 2004 champions will not be at the competition, which means neither will Papastathopoulos. At the age of 27, the Kalamata-born player has forged himself a reputation of being one of Europe's most solid defenders at Borussia Dortmund.

Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia)

Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea in actoin during the FA Community Shield match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on August 2, 2015© Getty Images

He may be having a torrid time of it at Chelsea at present, yet Ivanovic has been a fine defender for many years. When he is fully fit and firing, the strong Serb never shirks a tackle and has also been known to pop up with a crucial goal - just as he did when the Blues won the Europa League.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Armenia)

Dortmund's Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan (L) and Bayern Munich's defender Jerome Boateng (R) vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund in Munich, southern Germany, on October© Getty Images

With the greatest of respect, playing for Armenia, Mkhitaryan is unlikely to ever qualify for a major tournament. He was his country's leading goalscorer during qualification for Euro 2012 and while he was not so productive this time around, the Borussia Dortmund playmaker is a major creative and goalscoring force.

Nemanja Matic (Serbia)

Nemanja Matic of Chelsea in action during a Pre Season Friendly between Chelsea and Fiorentina at Stamford Bridge on August 5, 2015© Getty Images

Like his fellow countryman Ivanovic, for reasons that are not quite clear, Matic has struggled to produce the goods in a Chelsea shirt this term. The fact of the matter is, though, that when the 27-year-old is on top form, there are few better holding midfielders in Europe.

Christian Eriksen (Denmark)

Christian Eriksen of Denmark in action during the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifier match between Italy and Denmark at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 16, 2012 in Milan, Italy. © Getty Images

It is difficult to name many better strikers of a dead ball than Eriksen right now. Injuries limited the 23-year-old to just six appearances in qualification, which ended in heartbreak against fellow Scandinavians Sweden in the playoffs.

Miralem Pjanic (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Miralem Pjanic of AS Roma celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between AS Roma and Empoli FC at Stadio Olimpico on October 17, 2015 in Rome, Italy. © Getty Images

Few Bosnians came out of their clash with the Republic of Ireland with much credit, but Pjanic certainly did. The fact that he is a serial creator of chances for his teammates means that it is little surprise his club Roma have reportedly slapped a £30m price tag on the 25-year-old's head.

Arjen Robben (Netherlands)

Bayern Munich's Dutch midfielder Arjen Robben celebrates scoring during the German first division football Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Munich and FC Cologne on October 24, 2015© Getty Images

Holland were truly awful, with their lack of depth and ageing squad being badly exposed. However, had Robben not been struck down by injury, they may just have squeezed themselves through, such is the impact that the Bayern Munich winger has on the team. Of Holland's eight encounters, Robben was absent for four of them.

Edin Dzeko (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Bosnia and Herzegovina's Edin Dzeko celebrates after scoring during the Euro 2016 qualifying match between Belgium and Bosnia and Herzegovina at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, on September 3, 2015© Getty Images

Only Robert Lewandowski, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thomas Muller scored more goals in qualification than Bosnia's main marksman. Of the 18 goals that Bosnia scored, Dzeko netted an impressive eight of them. In terms of his ability in the air, the Roma frontman is one of the best in Europe.


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Bayern Munich's Dutch midfielder Arjen Robben celebrates scoring during the German first division football Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Munich and FC Cologne on October 24, 2015
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