The coronavirus pandemic has turned the football calendar upside down and for some big-name stars, it could unfortunately represent the beginning of the end of their glittering international careers.
UEFA were forced to make the tough decision of postponing the 2020 Euros by a year, with the flagship tournament now scheduled to take place between June 11 to July 11 in 2021 after the coronavirus outbreak threw a spanner in the works.
Not only will the postponement of the Euros have a knock-on effect for the countries competing, but for the players themselves it could throw up a harsh new reality.
Many players will have potentially been eyeing up this summer’s showpiece event as their swansong on the international stage but with an extra year of miles on the clock, some may now be denied that opportunity.
Here, Sportsmail takes a look at what players are in danger of missing out on next summer’s Euros and having their international careers ended abruptly…
The 2020 Euros was inevitably postponed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic
SERGIO RAMOS – SPAIN
When next summer’s Euros come around, Real Madrid and Spain captain Sergio Ramos will be the grand old age of 35. There is no doubt the veteran centre back will be sweating about his place under former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique.
Ramos sits pretty as Spain’s most-capped player ever featuring 170 times for his country but just how many more appearances will he make for the national team?
His future with Real Madrid is currently up in the air – there is no new contract on the table and his relationship with club president Florentino Perez has soured in recent times, meaning he could soon be on his way out of the Bernabeu.
Leaving Madrid could also spell the end of his international career, if he isn’t playing on the biggest stage in Spain at club level, Enrique could potentially overlook Ramos next summer.
Spain’s most-capped player, Sergio Ramos, will be 35 when next year’s Euros come about
OLIVIER GIROUD – FRANCE
Olivier Giroud appeared to be making his move at exactly the right time ahead of this summer. After months and months on the bench working as Tammy Abraham’s understudy at Chelsea, the Frenchman was looking for a move to try and force his way into France’s Euro squad.
But after an ankle injury to England international Abraham presented a rare chance to impress, Giroud stayed put. Frank Lampard called on the Frenchman to fill the void. He scored key goals against the likes of Tottenham and proved to be a good focal point in attack.
He proved he could still mix it at the top level and showed exactly why France have put so much faith in him over the years but the postponement of the Euros could be one step too far for Giroud, who will be 34 when the tournament eventually takes place.
There is plenty of competition for places up top for World Cup winners France, and with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele (currently out injured), at the…
Read More:Sergio Ramos, Manuel Neuer and Olivier Giroud could miss out on Euros in 2021