Virgil van Dijk, who has missed a major part of the 2020-21 footballing season due to a serious knee injury, has announced that he won’t be joining the Netherlands squad for the upcoming European Championship but will instead focus on getting himself fit ahead of the start of the next season with Liverpool. The Euro 2020 are set to kick-off from June 11, 2021, onwards. Hope Van Dijk Has Made Giant Steps in His Rehabilitation: Netherlands Coach.

The Netherlands captain has been on the sidelines since October 2020 after picking up a serious knee injury during the season’s first Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. Virgil Van Dijk was on the receiving end of a strong challenger from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in the process.

The Liverpool defender has been recovering well in his rehabilitation and has returned to individual training. The Dutch star has been pictured working with a ball at Liverpool's Kirkby training ground, and there was hope that he might return to action during the European championships but the central defender has opted to work on his fitness instead.

Virgil Van Dijk Back In Training

Speaking to Liverpool's official website, Van Dijk said: ‘With everything that is going on, I feel physically it is the right decision that I’ve decided not to go to the Euros and to go into my last phase of rehab during the off-season. So, the full focus will be on pre-season with the club and that’s a realistic goal, so I am looking forward to that,’

Virgil Van Dijk’s absence has been critical in both Liverpool and Netherlands’ drop in form in recent months with the Dutch team failing to make an impact under Frank de Boer while Liverpool were unsuccessful in their title defence and remain in danger of failing to qualify for the Champions League.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 12, 2021 05:58 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website