Injured for the entire season, there was hope that perhaps, by some slim chance, Virgil Van Dijk might be back for this summer’s Euros.

There was a brief period where it felt the Liverpool star could make an appearance at the tournament this summer, but after some deliberation, the Dutchman decided it was best for the rest of his career to sit it out and focus on recovery.

That will have come as a blow to Frank de Boer, the current Netherlands manager, who will have wanted to have his best defender available for the important tournament, but he will now have to change his plans and make do without him.

Asked about the Liverpool defender’s decision, the former Barcelona player was completely understanding, relayed by NU.

He said: “I am especially sorry for him because he is our captain and has never seen a full tournament. We had already taken it into account and, in the end, he had to make his own decision. We have to respect this decision. There’s hope he’ll have more tournaments to play, starting with the World Cup in Qatar, if we qualify for that. I spoke to Virgil and he’s just realistic. It’s very unfortunate for us”.

The 29-year-old only managed to feature in eight games for Liverpool before rupturing his cruciate ligament in a 2-2 draw against Everton back in October.

When it comes to these injuries, though, it’s always a case of better safe than sorry.