ANKARA (AA) – There is only one week to go until the start of the Euro 2016 tournament and many well-known European footballers look set to miss out on the action in France.
Reigning European champions Spain will be missing forwards Diego Costa and Fernando Torres, and midfielders Santi Cazorla and Juan Mata.
Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque has been unable to call on Chelsea striker Costa and Arsenal midfielder Cazorla, as injuries have ruled the pair out.
Manchester United attacking midfielder Mata tallied 10 goals and 11 assists in 54 matches last season but still could not secure a place on the final squad.
Real Madrid players Isco and Daniel Carvajal have also been omitted from the squad.
Bayern Munich defender Javi Martinez and Sevilla's target man Fernando Llorente will not travel to France either.
- Verratti and Marchisio injuries upset Italy
Meanwhile, Italy will lack their young star, Marco Verratti. The industrious 23-year-old midfielder is out because of a groin injury.
In addition to Paris Saint-Germain regular Verratti, Juventus central midfielder Claudio Marchisio will not play as he has been suffering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Italian forward Mario Balotelli was not chosen because of poor form, having scored only one goal in 20 league matches for AC Milan.
- Germany without Reus
Tournament favorites Germany will play without Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus. The 27-year-old Dortmund speedster tallied 23 goals and eight assists in 43 appearances. Reus had groin-injury problems which obliged Germany boss Joachim Low to omit him.
In addition to Reus, the other German midfielder to miss Euro 2016 is Ilkay Gundogan. Manchester City's new signing from Borussia Dortmund sustained a major knee injury in May.
- Hosts France may lack Benzema
Real Madrid star Karim Benzema was not called upon by France manager Didier Deschamps as he was charged with "participation in a criminal association" and "conspiracy to blackmail" after he appeared before an investigating magistrate near Paris in early November, local media reported.
Benzema, 28, had been held in police custody over an alleged plot to blackmail fellow France international Mathieu Valbuena with a sex tape, sports newspaper L’Equipe reported.
Karim Benzema scored 28 goals in 36 matches for Real Madrid last season; he is regarded as one of the team's integral parts in offense.
Olympique Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette was not chosen for Les Bleus even though he scored 23 goals in 44 appearances for Lyon last season.
Injured French players, Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, Arsenal right-back Mathieu Debuchy and Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu are also excluded from the France squad.
- Injuries dismay England
England has been cursed by injuries to their many of their important players such as Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck and winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph and Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw.
Premier League winners Leicester City's central-midfielder Danny Drinkwater was not selected by England manager Roy Hodgson.
In addition Belgium's center back and team skipper Vincent Kompany will miss the tournament as he has sustained a groin injury.
Manager Marc Wilmots will have to shape the Belgian defense without him in France.
- The tournament's format changed
Euro 2016's format has been changed; group leaders and runners-up will go through to the next round but the best third-placed four teams will be in Round of 16 as well. The four teams will pair with group leaders.
It is the first time that 24 teams will play in the tournament. In the past this figure was 16.
France automatically qualified for the finals as they are the hosts. The rest came from European qualifiers. There are six groups in total and each group has four teams.
After the group stage, round of 16, quarter-finals, semis and final will be played.
The final match will be held at Stade de France in Saint-Denis on Sunday, July 10.
The tournament runs from June 10 to July 10 in France.
- Last 16:
1st match: Group A runners-up - Group C runners-up
2nd match: Group D leaders - Group B, E or F third-placed
3rd match: Group B leaders - Group A, C or D third-placed
4th match: Group F leaders - Group E runners-up
5th match: Group C leaders - Group A, B or F third-placed
6th match: Group E leaders - Group D runners-up
7th match: Group A leaders - Group C, D or E third-placed
8th match: Group B runners-up - Group F runners-up
1st Quarter-final match: Winner of 1st match - Winner of 2nd match
2nd Quarter-final match: Winner of 3rd match - Winner of 4th match
3rd Quarter-final match: Winner of 5th match - Winner of 6th match
4th Quarter-final match: Winner of 7th match - Winner of 8th match
- Semi final
1st Semi-final match: 1st quarter finalist - 2nd quarter finalist
2nd Semi-final match: 3rd quarter finalist - 4th quarter finalist
Final: 1st semi-finalist - 2nd semi-finalist