Euro 2012: 5 Top Players Who Won't Be Appearing
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With only 16 places up for grabs at next year's European Championships, competition was fierce. With last week's playoffs cementing the final lineup, here's a look at some of the top players who'll miss out on the trip to Poland and Ukraine next summer. Maybe their national broadcasters will offer them commentary work to fill the time.
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Bosnia and Herzegovina made it as far as the playoffs before crashing out to Portugal, meaning national icon Edin Dzeko misses out. Dzeko had previously turned down offers of citizenship from Germany and the Czech Republic (both qualifiers for Euro 2012) to stay with the Balkan nation as they attempted to qualify for their first major tournament.
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Despite an upsurge in results recently under new manager Gary Speed, Wales yet again miss out on a place at the Euros.
Touted by some as the new Ryan Giggs, Bale will want to refrain from joining his fellow countryman on the list of top players who never played at a major international tournament which perhaps explains his desire to compete for a unified GB team at next year's Olympic Games.
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Edin Dzeko's Manchester City teammate Vincent Kompany can keep the Bosnian company (no pun intended) next summer, as Belgium also missed out on a spot at the finals. The defender has cemented his position as one of the most consistent defenders in world football, but it wasn't enough to get him or his country to Poland/Ukraine.
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Manchester United captain Vidic announced his retirement from international football after Serbia failed to qualify for the finals, but he would have surely played on had they made it. A poor campaign, including a loss against Estonia, means that Serbia (who had previously been one of the strongest teams in the region) finished third in their group.
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Turkey were semifinalists at the last European Championships but failed to qualify this time around. Playmaker Arda Turan (now with Atletico Madrid) and La Liga/national compatriots Nuri Sahin and Hamit Altintop will all miss out on the trip to Ukraine and Poland.