Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk will miss this summer's European Championship with Holland in order to be fit for the 2021/22 campaign.
The influential centre-half sustained a serious knee injury last October, which hurt Liverpool's Premier League title defence.
He's now made the decision to concentrate on his rehabilitation and forgo the opportunity to play for his country in a major tournament.
He says he is in a good space 'physically' and 'mentally' and wants to be ready for pre-season with the Merseyside club.
Van Dijk told the Liverpool website:
"Things have been going well, I’ve not had a real setback or anything, I’ve just progressed nicely. In this latest stage for myself, I have come to a decision that I had to make: would I be involved in the Euros, yes or no? With everything that is going on, I feel physically it is the right decision that I’ve decided not to go to the Euros and to go into my last phase of rehab during the off-season. So, the full focus will be on pre-season with the club and that’s a realistic goal, so I am looking forward to that."
He added that it was a difficult decision to make not to line out for the Dutch.
"Obviously I am very gutted to miss the Euros, to miss the European Championship and leading out my own country there, but things have been like they have and I have to accept it – we all have to accept it. I think the decision to not go is the right decision in the grand scheme of things. It’s tough, but I’m at peace with it."