Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Five Euro 2016 stars who were not rested in their Premier League openers

Published 15/08/2016

Arsene Wenger said his Arsenal side were not physically ready for the start of the new Premier League season
Arsene Wenger said his Arsenal side were not physically ready for the start of the new Premier League season

Arsene Wenger claimed his squad are not yet physically ready for the new campaign after their 4-3 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.

The Gunners boss pointed to the exertions of his players at Euro 2016 as a key factor, with France internationals Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny not involved having reached the final with France, Mesut Ozil was also rested following Germany's run to the semi-finals.

But others were not so as cautious and here, Press Association Sport looks at those players who did play some part in the opening weekend of the season despite prolonged runs at the Euro 2016.


While Ozil was deemed not fit enough to feature against Liverpool, Wenger opted to play Ramsey from the start.

The Wales midfielder was banned for his country's semi-final defeat to Portugal but had played all-but two minutes of the run to the final four. He was forced off in Sunday's game with a hamstring injury.


Unlike Koscielny, former Arsenal right-back Sagna played every minute as France suffered final heartbreak in Paris. At 33, he is older than Ozil, Koscielny and Giroud but he was still selected by Pep Guardiola for his first game as City boss. Sagna played a total of 660 minutes throughout the Euros and then the whole match as City beat Sunderland 2-1 on Saturday afternoon in a demanding new role.


Belgium's so-called 'Golden Generation' may have only reached the quarter-finals before falling to Wales, but Spurs defender Alderweireld played every minute of their tournament.

He returned to White Hart Lane and, alongside compatriot Jan Vertonghen who was injured for the Euros, played the whole 90 minutes in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Everton.


Another Belgian who played for all of the Red Devils' Euro 2016 campaign - totalling 450 minutes of game time during the competition.

Giroud may have made it to the final with France but he played less than 10 minutes more having seen just one game through to the finish. However, like Sagna, De Bruyne played for the entirety of City's win on Saturday while Giroud was a mere spectator.


The Southampton full-back may have not kicked a ball for Portugal as they squeaked through their group with three draws but he came into his own during the knock-out stages.

Soares was an ever-present from that point on, including two matches which went through extra-time and one that ended in a penalty shoot-out, as Portugal were crowned European champions. The 24-year-old then played 79 minutes of Saints' 1-1 draw at home to Watford on Saturday.

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph