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Euro 2021 – will these 5 players be too old next summer?

On March 17th, UEFA announced the postponement of Euro 2020 for a year. It was decided that priority had to be given to the completion of domestic competitions and Euro 2020 will now be played between June 11th and July 11th 2021, especially with such uncertainty over when the Coronavirus crisis will be over. Fans are hopeful that the crisis ends soon so that they can enjoy Euro 2021 next summer but the year’s delay might be too much for some players who are nearing the end of their football careers. Let’s have a look at 5 players who might be too old when Euro 2021 gets underway.

 

Vincent Kompany

Euro 2020 always looked like the last chance for Belgium’s golden generation and the extra year could be too much for one of their all-time greats.

Vincent Kompany is known as the ‘Man of Glass’ because of his many injuries and the veteran centre-back will be 34 when Euro 2021 starts next summer. Kompany is currently player-manager at Anderlecht, in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League. Although this standard of football might put less pressure on his body, will it also count against him when it comes to picking Belgium’s Euro 2021 squad?

 

Cristiano Ronaldo

CR7 will be 36-years-old by the time Euro 2021 arrives. The Portugal star is a physical phenomenon who continues to defy age but we will have to see if he can maintain his shape and form in order to continue to have a big influence in the Portugal squad.

Although Ronaldo is known for taking the best care of his body, time will surely catch up with him sooner or later. Given his astonishing performances for Juventus this season, 2020 could have been the perfect year to round off a glittering international career with Portugal. However, we are sure the Portuguese star has it in him to add an another year, if not more. Can he lead Portugal to the final again?

 

Luka Modric

As Euro 2020 was postponed for a year, Croatian fans will have asked themselves whether 34-year-old Luka Modric would stick around for an extra year. The Croatia international is only seven months younger than Ronaldo and will be in the same boat as his former Real Madrid teammate.

Modric was the star of the show as Croatia reached the World Cup final in Russia in 2018 and was rewarded with the Ballon d’Or for his efforts. We will have to wait and see if he can deliver the same level of performance at Euro 2021 at the age of 35. Modric is expected to hold off any international retirement plans until after Euro 2021, at which point he is likely to call it a day.

 

Thomas Vermaelen

The former Arsenal and Barcelona defender is currently playing for Japanese club Vissel Kobe, where he joined his former-teammate Andrés Iniesta last summer.

When Euro 2021 kicks off next year, the Belgium international will only be a month away from his 36th birthday which is a significant age even for a player of his class. As Belgium don’t have many alternatives for the left and center back positions, Roberto Martínez will likely count on Vermaelen one last time in Euro 2021.

 

Olivier Giroud

Concerned with the lack of playing time afforded by Frank Lampard in the first half of the season, the France international wanted to leave London in January.

Ultimately, as Chelsea weren’t able to source a replacement, a move never materialized and Giroud eventually found playing time due to injuries. He took the opportunity and scored some important goals to increase his chances of Euro 2020 selection. However, with the tournament postponed and Giroud no spring chicken, Didier Deschamps might be searching for more long-term options to lead the France attack by Euro 2021. Amine Gouiri (Lyon) and Lenny Pintor (Troyes) are among the names that the France manager will be following closely next year.

 


 

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