Germany’s Ter Stegen misses Euros with injury but Witsel back in for Belgium

Germany’s Marc-André ter Stegen will miss next month’s European Championship after the Barcelona goalkeeper revealed he needs to undergo a procedure on his knee.

The 29-year-old played the full 90 minutes in Sunday’s 2-1 home defeat by Celta Vigo which ended Barcelona’s La Liga title challenge with one game left in the season. Writing on Instagram, he said: “I have decided together with the medical team of the club that I will do a complementary intervention on my knee. I’m sad that I will miss the Euro 2020 this summer with Germany. For the first time in many years I will be a fan at home supporting my country, I hope we win it.”

Meanwhile, Axel Witsel was included in the Belgium squad despite having surgery on an achilles tendon injury suffered with Borussia Dortmund in January. “Witsel is recovering well and working really hard to be completely fit and is ahead of his recovery schedule,” manager Roberto Martínez told reporters on Monday. “A European Championship is made up of two tournaments and if you want to be successful you have to take a different mentality into the knockout phase. That is where Axel is going to be most important.”

Striker Michy Batshuayi has been threatened with the punishment of 50 push-ups when he joins the national team squad at the end of the month. Batshuayi prematurely announced his own inclusion in the 26-man squad for the tournament on Monday, tweeting before the squad’s official announcement was completed at a formal news conference.

“Euro 2021 [sic] here we come. Very proud to be part of this team,” he tweeted before hastily deleting the message when realising his error. The Crystal Palace forward had not followed the announcement by Martinez on the Belgium FA mobile app and jumped the gun. “I don’t have the app sorry I thought it was already official,” he had to tweet just minutes later.

In response, the official Belgium team Twitter account said: “That’s 50 push ups at the first training, Michy,” and posted the link for him to download the app to his phone to avoid further embarrassment.

Croatia, England’s opponents in their opening match on 11 June, have also named their squad as they attempt to follow up their appearance at the World Cup final in 2018. Striker Bruno Petkovic is expected to fill Mario Mandzukic’s big boots in the veteran’s absence.

“Petkovic has to be at Euro 2020 what Mandzukic was in Russia,” Dalic told the online edition of daily Sportske Novosti. “He has shown that he is capable of leading the line but he has to be in top form. If not, Andrej Kramaric and Ante Budimir are the alternatives.”