Virgil van Dijk has announced that he will not be representing the Netherlands at Euro 2020.
Since last October, the Liverpool defender has been out with an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury.
And his absence has been felt by the Reds, who are struggling to qualify for next season’s Champions League with four games remaining.
Van Dijk was expected to return in time for the Netherlands’ Euro 2020 campaign, which begins on June 13 against Ukraine.
Although it has been suggested that Van Dijk may go against Liverpool’s wishes to attend the tournament, national team manager Frank de Boer has expressed his desire to call on the defender.
The 29-year-old, however, has ruled himself out of Euro 2020 this summer in order to complete the final stages of his rehabilitation.
He told Liverpool’s official website: “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.
“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.”
When the current season ends, Van Dijk insists he will work harder than ever to ensure he is ready for the 2021/22 season.
He said: “When the season ends it doesn’t really end for me. I will train every day, keep training until pre-season starts.
“Obviously there will be a couple of days of sort of rest, but I want to be ready and I will do everything that is possible to get ready, which is normal.
“I am looking forward to it. The sun is going to be shining again, so it makes it a little bit easier.
“I will keep working and that’s definitely the only thing that I can promise, that I will keep going no matter what. It’s all positive.
“I am very gutted to not be going to the Euros, but it is the right decision for this time and hopefully for the future as well.”