Euro 2020 is upon us, a festival of international football featuring some key players from Barcelona.
As one of the biggest clubs in the world, you might expect Barça to have lots of players representing countries at Euro 2020, but that is not entirely the case. Eight have been called up to action, the same number as from the Italian side Atalanta and Russian team Dinamo Zagreb. RB Leipzig, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Dynamo Kiev will all have more players at the tournament than Barça.
It doesn’t mean that much in the grand scheme of things. Some of the stars of the Camp Nou are not able to compete at all. Lionel Messi, Ronald Araujo and Sergiño Dest will be in action elsewhere this summer. The exciting talent of Ansu Fati and solid German keeper Marc-André ter Stegen would be competing were it not for injury ruling them out of the tournament.
Which nations should Barça fans keep an eye on this summer, and what are the players’ chances of shining? We’ve got the complete guide for you below.
Martin Braithwaite is the sole Barça player representing Denmark in Group B, and the Danes will be hopeful of qualification for the next stage. They will come up against Belgium, one of the tournament favorites, and both Russia and Finland, against whom they will surely fancy their chances. 30-year-old Braithwaite scored just two La Liga goals in 29 outings this season and is very much a fringe player for Ronald Koeman, but he is likely to be amongst the starting XI for his country.
Midfield man Frenkie De Jong is a key player for both club and country and has certainly impressed since his €75m transfer from Ajax in 2019. He started 35 La Liga matches for Koeman’s team and has featured as a starter in both of the Netherlands pre-tournament fixtures. His country will be the dark horses for the whole competition this summer, with a relatively easy group featuring Austria, North Macedonia and Ukraine.
There are three Barça players in the Spanish side, but remarkably none from rivals Real Madrid, with Sergio Ramos surprisingly dropped by Luis Enrique. Yahoo reports that leaving Ramos at home means two Barça players, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets, will become the veteran leaders in the squad with 195 caps between them. The final Barça player in the Spanish team is exciting young player Pedri. He may get a chance in the absence of Fati, but with just three La Liga goals to his name, it might be a tournament too early for him to shine. Group E is a tough one to call, despite Spain being favorites in the Euro 2020 Group Winner Odds by Bwin. Sweden and Poland will be much fancied to come second and maybe even cause an upset at the top of the group, with Slovakia something of an unknown quantity. The absence of Fati is undoubtedly a blow to Spain’s chances, but fans will be hopeful Busquets and Alba can inspire the youthful squad to some degree of success.
Many feel that France will be in the final again this year, after winning the 2018 World Cup and finishing as runner up in the 2016 European Championships. Their squad is incredibly strong and features three Barça players, at least one considered a starter for his country. Antoine Griezmann played a vital role in Les Bleus’s final appearances, and he will be sure to add to his 90 caps and 36 goals. Ousmane Dembélé netted in the recent 3-0 friendly win against Wales after coming on as a sub, and he too could significantly impact Didier Déschamps side. Finally, Clément Lenglet is on the fringes of the squad, boasting 12 caps and one international goal, but unless their final group game is a dead rubber, he might struggle to get on the pitch.