Euro 2024 snubbed XI features two Champions League finalists but not ‘the best England goalkeeper’

Will Ford
Courtois Hummes Locatelli
Thibaout Courtois, Mats Hummels and Manuel Locatelli have all been snubbed for Euro 2024.

The Euro 2024 squads are in and if the media outlets abroad are anything like us over here in the green and pleasant land (they’re not) respective managers will be being pilloried for not selecting their Jack Grealish equivalents.

There are inevitably some very good footballers that have not been selected to represent their countries this summer, and we’ve come up with quite the XI of uninjured players who could have been starring in Germany but won’t be.


GK: Thibaut Courtois
Gareth Southgate has left the ‘best England goalkeeper’ at home according to Graeme Souness, but not according to us. We would suggest that not even the blinkered Scot would suggest that Rangers stopper Jack Butland is worthy of a place in this team ahead of Courtois, who responded to Belgium manager Domenico Tedesco’s claim that the Real Madrid star “didn’t feel ready to go” despite returning from injury at the start of May with three Pinocchio emojis.


RB: Reece James
Those who endured Kyle Walker’s display against Iceland on Friday might reasonably have been wondering whether England may be better off with the right-back that Walker himself claims is “the best in the world”. Alternatively, Steve Holland could have apologised to Ben White.


CB: Mats Hummels
Arguably the best player in this season’s Champions League, and inarguably the best defender has been left out of the Germany squad largely because Julian Nagelsmann believes if Hummels isn’t starting – and he wouldn’t be with Jonathan Tah and Antonio Rudiger the preferred pairing – the outspoken Borussia Dortmund star would be a disruptive influence. “We got feedback from the kitchen chefs and physiotherapists on how the team works together,” Nagelsmann said pointedly when asked about absentees. The implication: Hummels is a bit of a d*ck.


CB: Pau Cubarsi
The 17-year-old joins Girona’s Aleix Garcia and Atletico Madrid’s Marcos Llorente in players that were cut from the preliminary squad that was announced in May. A surprise given his excellent end-of-season form for Barcelona, particularly in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against PSG, but then he is still a child, born after J.K. Rowling finished writing the last Harry Potter.


LB: Ian Maatsen
An excellent six months for the Chelsea loanee that saw him play a key role in Borussia Dortmund’s run to the Champions League final and earn a call-up to Ronald Koeman’s preliminary Netherlands squad has turned to the proverbial after he had a bit of a mare in said Champions League final, failed to make the final cut for Euro 2024 and is currently off on holiday with no idea where he’ll be playing his football next season.


CM: Manuel Locatelli
Linked with ludicrously overpriced moves to the Premier League after he starred for Italy at Euro 2020, Locatelli’s been snubbed by Luciano Spalletti despite playing nigh-on every minute for Juventus in Serie A this season. The Old Lady sway is a thing of the past.


CM: Leon Goretzka
“The decision was not between Pavlovic and Leon,” Nagelsmann said having quite clearly chosen Goretzka’s 20-year-old Bayern teammate Aleksandar Pavlovic over him. Reports claim Goretzka was ‘highly emotional’ having been left out and ‘hoped Nagelsmann would reach out to him and request a personal meeting before a decision was made – but that never materialised’. Ouch.


LW: Marcus Rashford
“I feel players in the same area of the pitch have had better seasons,” Southgate said after Rashford was excluded from his 33-man squad, and you can’t argue with that. But he did score three goals in Qatar and five of England’s nine forwards – Jarrod Bowen, Ivan Toney, Eberechi Eze, Cole Palmer and Anthony Gordon – have two international goals between them.

AM: Jack Grealish
His teammates were ‘upset, angry and disappointed’ and the rest of us aren’t entirely convinced by Jarrod Bowen’s potential impact from the bench compared to the Manchester City treble winner. Did Southgate take the ‘simple’ option to avoid ‘public clamour’?

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RW: Michael Olise
At least his absence allows him the time to field calls from his many, many Premier League suitors, and despite his outstanding season it’s no great surprise that uncapped Olise wasn’t handed his first call-up given the laughable options available to Didier Deschamps. Kingsley Coman and Christopher Nkunku also didn’t make the cut.


ST: Joshua Zirkzee
Premier League clubs (chiefly Arsenal) in desperate need of a striker who’s quite young, quite cheap and not entirely terrible are obsessed with Zirkzee on the back of 14 goals in 58 games for Bologna, but Ronald Koeman prefers Wout Weghorst.