Matthijs de Ligt to miss the Netherlands’ Euro 2020 opener against Ukraine

Frank de Boer has confirmed Matthijs de Ligt will miss the Netherlands’ Euro 2020 opener against Ukraine on Sunday.

The Juventus defender was absent from his side’s final warm-up game against Georgia after picking up a groin injury.

He had remained optimistic about his chances of being fit for the clash with Ukraine on Sunday, but head coach De Boer has now confirmed he will not be risked for his side’s opening game of this summer’s delayed tournament.

“Hopefully the tournament will last a long time for us and then we will really need him,” he told reporters (via NOS). “If it was the final, we would probably have drafted him, but now we are not going to take any unnecessary risks.”

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Only a few days ago did De Ligt claim he could be fit for the clash, while De Boer’s suggestion that he may have risked the defender if more were riding on the game made it sound like he’s not far away from full fitness.

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That being said, the Dutch coach’s comment that he hopes the tournament lasts a long time so De Ligt can feature suggests the knock may be worse than first feared.

Matthijs de Ligt will miss his side's opening game of Euro 2020Matthijs de Ligt will miss his side's opening game of Euro 2020

Matthijs de Ligt will miss his side’s opening game of Euro 2020 / BSR Agency/Getty Images

De Boer will naturally be eager to welcome the Juventus man back into the fold as soon as possible with group games coming thick and fast over the next few weeks.

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The Netherlands have just four days of rest after their game against Ukraine before their second outing of the competition against Austria on Thursday, before playing their final game of Group C against North Macedonia the following Monday.

It remains to be seen whether De Ligt will be fit for either of the clashes with Austria or North Macedonia, though for now he will definitely miss his side’s Euro 2020 opener.

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