Whilst some superstars from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and further afield will be plying their trade in France this month, others will be watching from their living rooms with their feet up.
Through no choice of their own, some of the biggest names in world football have been robbed of the opportunity to play at the European championships through injury. Like Franck Ribery in 2014, Carlos Puyol in 2012, and David Beckham in 2010, these stars could potentially miss out on one of their respective nation’s biggest footballing moments. Instead they will be watching from afar and hoping that (in some cases) they will be fit for the start of their domestic campaign…
Euro 2016 Injured XI
Kompany Zouma Varane
Other notable absentees – Foster (ENG); Debuchy (FRA); Rudiger (GER); Laporte (FRA); Coentrao (POR); Marchisio (ITA); Montilivio (ITA); Diarra (FRA); Oxlade-Chamberlain (ENG); Brunt (NIR).
Jack Butland – England
Position: Goalkeeper Age: 23 Club: Stoke City
The Stoke shot stopper was sensational this season until picking up an ankle injury on his fourth appearance for the national team. Butland kept 10 clean sheets for Stoke in 31 appearances before his injury and the Potters clearly missed him as they conceded 18 goals in the 7 games without the young keeper, picking up just 5 points.  He almost certainly would have been second choice to Joe Hart, but an invaluable experience nonetheless that Butland is missing out on.
Daniel Carvajal – Spain
Position: Right Back Age: 24 Club: Real Madrid
Ruled out of Euro 2016 in the last game of the domestic season, Real Madrid’s first choice right back injured his hip in the Champions League final victory. A product of the Real Madrid academy, Carvajal is relatively inexperienced on the international stage compared to fellow defenders Pique, Juanfran and Sergio Ramos but his talent is unquestionable. Cementing his place in the squad for Los Blancos upon his return should be straight forward but competition from the emerging Hector Bellerin means that Spain’s right back berth is certainly in good hand’s going forward.
Vincent Kompany – Belgium
Position: Centre Back Age: 30 Club: Manchester City
The oldest of the injured XI, Kompany has had a season riddled with injuries. The Belgian captain only managed to feature in 14 Premier League games and appeared in 7 of Manchester City’s Champions League fixtures. A groin injury has ruled Kompany out of this tournament after a series of calf problems and City will be hoping to have a fresh set of legs returning for pre season.
Kurt Zouma – France
Position: Centre Back Age: 21 Club: Chelsea
A horrendous knee injury suffered in February means that Zouma will not be representing France this summer. The young Frenchman had a promising first half of the domestic season and will be bitterly disappointed to be missing out, especially since Didier Deschamps voiced his desire to pair Zouma with fellow absentee Raphael Varane in the heart of the defence. 
Zouma will no doubt build on his 2 international senior caps in the future and will blossom under incoming Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.
Raphael Varane – France
Position: Centre Back Age: 23 Club: Real Madrid
Varane, Zouma, Laporte, Debuchy… The list goes on. The French have been stripped of numerous players prior to their home tournament, especially defenders. Deschamps will be frustrated by the absence of Varane due to a hamstring injury. Despite not having the best of seasons at Real Madrid, he certainly has a bright future with the club, where he is contracted to until 2020. He can also look forward to a long career with the French national team, having already captained them on two occasions, becoming the youngest person to do so. [3, 4]
Luke Shaw – England
Position: Left Back Age: 20 Club: Manchester Utd
Until the signing of Anthony Martial this season, Luke Shaw was the most expensive teenager in world football. [5, 6] A product of the celebrated Southampton academy, Shaw had a brilliant start to the 2015/16 campaign working under Louis Van Gaal, but a terrible leg break playing against PSV in the Champions League saw the young left back’s season end and with that, his hopes of representing his country this summer.
It will be an interesting battle for the England left back position when Shaw returns, as Tottenham’s Danny Rose and Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand have had great domestic seasons and will look to impress in France this summer.
Ilkay Gundogan – Germany
Position: Centre Midfield Age: 25 Club: Manchester City
Pep Guardiola’s first signing for his new club, Manchester City, Gundogan has been out with a knee injury since May. An unfortunate international career for the German saw him miss the World Cup in Brazil with a back injury and did not feature in Euro 2012 despite being in the 23 man squad. Fortunately for Joachim Low, the current World Champions are full with talent so will not necessarily miss Gundogan’s influence, however the former Dortmund man will feel his luck does not lie with international football.
Marco Verratti – Italy
Position: Centre Midfield Age: 23 Club: PSG
At the age of 23, Verratti has already won 4 Ligue 1 titles with a dominant Paris Saint-Germain side.  With the aging Italian midfield of De Rossi, Parolo, Motta and Giaccherini, Verratti would have been an automatic starter in this Italian side. A long-standing hernia problem rules the young Italian out of Euro 2016 and Italy will certainly miss the 5’5’’ playmaker.
Marco Reus – Germany
Position: Centre Midfield Age: 27 Club: Borussia Dortmund
An international career seems to elude Marco Reus every time the opportunity comes around. Injured in 2010, a bit part player in 2012, injured again in 2014 and has also had to pull out with a hip injury this year just days after losing out in the DFB-Pokal final with Borussia Dortmund.
Reus’ future has always had speculation of a transfer away from Dortmund, following in the footsteps of Lewandowski, Gotze, and Hummels. However, at 27 and being matched in performance by his attacking partner, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Reus may find himself in the shadows of the Gabon speedster during the transfer window.
Danny Welbeck – England
Position: Striker Age: 25 Club: Arsenal
Since making his Manchester United debut in the 2008/09 season, Welbeck has been ruled out for a total of 24 months with a long list of injuries.  Most recently, a knee injury has denied Welbeck the chance to represent his country at a third major tournament. A real shame for both the Arsenal striker and the national team, as Welbeck can play in most positions in the attacking part of the field, which would certainly give Roy Hodgson less sleepless nights.
Diego Costa – Spain
Position: Striker Age: 27 Club: Chelsea
Now, the contentious selection. Although Costa did pick up a hamstring injury at the end of the Premier League season, there isn’t any guarantees that Costa would of even made the Spain squad. It is generally thought that Vincente del Bosque saw the Chelsea man as surplus to requirements due to a fairly indifferent year at Chelsea (compared to his previous campaign) and a style of play that arguably jars against the now synonymous Spanish approach to International football.
With Athletic Bilbao’s 35-year-old Aritz Aduriz having an incredible season at Athletic Bilbao and Alvaro Morata being given the chance to lead the line over Valencia goal scorer, Paco Alcacer, Costa will have to prove once more to be deserving of a starting sport in this current Spain squad.
All injury data provided by http://www.premierinjuries.com/euro-2016-injuries.php
JG, The Sweeper Football Blog