Euro 2020 is finally here, with the international tournament being played across 11 different countries this summer. After being postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 24 nations are now battling it out for the trophy and 16 of these national sides will do so with at least one LaLiga-based player in their squads.
44 LaLiga Santander or LaLiga SmartBank players have been called up for their national teams. Thirty-nine played their football in Spain's top division last campaign, three played in the Spanish second tier and two (David Alaba and Eric GarcÃa) have just arrived in LaLiga Santander.
FC Barcelona lead the way with eight in total: Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Pedri are in the Spain squad, pending any further late developments or positive COVID tests within the camp. Meanwhile, Martin Braithwaite is going with Denmark, Frenkie de Jong with the Netherlands and ClÃ©ment Lenglet, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane DembÃ©lÃ© with France. Champions AtlÃ©tico de Madrid have seven players going, while city rivals Real Madrid have six.
It also says a lot about the good standing of LaLiga SmartBank that Rayo Vallecano's Stole Dimitrievski and Martin Valjent and Aleksandar Trajkovski " both of RCD Mallorca " are going to the European Championships, with their national team coaches valuing their exploits in one of European football's most competitiveness divisions.
>LaLiga players in every group
The 44 LaLiga players are spread across 16 different nations. As is to be expected, it's the Spanish national team that has the most, with coach Luis Enrique naming 11 Spain-based players in his side. The other nations with LaLiga players in their squads are: France (seven), Portugal (four), Croatia (three), North Macedonia (three), Belgium (three), Denmark (two), Netherlands (two), Slovakia (two), Austria (one), Turkey (one), Russia (one), Czech Republic (one), England (one), Sweden (one) and Germany (one).
This means that there is LaLiga representation in every single group. In Group A, there's just one player, but Enes Ãnal's presence in the Turkey squad means there will be a LaLiga player in the opening match as the Crescent Stars face Italy. Then there are six LaLiga players in Group B, six in Group C, five in Group D, 14 in Group E and 12 in Group F.
The draw has thrown up some very tasty head-to-heads between LaLiga stars and even teammates. In Group F, Real Madrid's Toni Kroos will meet RaphaÃ«l Varane and Karim Benzema, while LaLiga champions Thomas Lemar and JoÃ£o FÃ©lix will also come up against each other in that same group. Another all-Atleti affair comes in Group D, as the Rojiblancos' two right-backs Kieran Trippier and Å ime Vrsaljko clash in England vs Croatia in the opening weekend. In Group B, meanwhile, Valencia CF's Denis Cheryshev and Daniel Wass may even be up against each other on the same flank when Russia meet Denmark.
LaLiga heavily represented off the pitch too
It's not just through players that LaLiga has a presence at this summer's European Championship, though. LaLiga installations will be used in the build-up to the tournament and during the competition too, such as Sevilla FC's training complex. Los Rojiblancos will open their doors to Poland, Sweden and Slovakia when they are in the city to play at La Cartuja.
And on the production side of things, lead TV match director for Mediapro and LaLiga Ã"scar Lago is part of UEFA's team of broadcast directors for the tournament. He becomes the first Spaniard to hold such a role at a European Championship or World Cup since UEFA and FIFA brought the direction of broadcasts in house in 2008 and will go with his own team of technicians " a testament to the excellent work being done in LaLiga broadcasts over the past few years.
From the opening match and maybe to the final, there will be a significant LaLiga presence at this year's European Championship. It should be a fun summer of action as 24 national teams battle it out.
The LaLiga players who'll be present at Euro 2020 group wise
Enes Ãnal (Getafe CF)
Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
Yannick Carrasco (AtlÃ©tico Madrid)
Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)
Daniel Wass (Valencia CF)
Martin Braithwaite (FC Barcelona)
Denis Cheryshev (Valencia CF)
David Alaba (Real Madrid)
Frenkie de Jong (FC Barcelona)
Luuk de Jong (Sevilla FC)
Stole Dimitrievski (Rayo Vallecano)
Enis Bardhi (Levante UD)
Aleksandar Trajkovski (RCD Mallorca)
Å ime Vrsaljko (AtlÃ©tico Madrid)
Luka ModriÄ (Real Madrid)
Ante Budimir (CA Osasuna)
TomÃ¡Å¡ VaclÃk (Sevilla FC)
Kieran Trippier (AtlÃ©tico Madrid)
Martin Valjent (RCD Mallorca)
Denis Vavro (SD Huesca)
Unai SimÃ³n (Athletic Club)
JosÃ© GayÃ (Valencia CF)
Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona)
Pau Torres (Villarreal CF)
Eric GarcÃa (FC Barcelona)
Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona)
Koke (AtlÃ©tico Madrid)
Marcos Llorente (AtlÃ©tico Madrid)
Gerard Moreno (Villarreal CF)
Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad)
Pedri (FC Barcelona)
Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad)
Jules KoundÃ© (Sevilla FC)
ClÃ©ment Lenglet (FC Barcelona)
RaphaÃ«l Varane (Real Madrid)
Thomas Lemar (AtlÃ©tico Madrid)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Ousmane DembÃ©lÃ© (FC Barcelona)
Antoine Griezmann (FC Barcelona)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Rui Silva (Granada CF)
William Carvalho (Real Betis)
GonÃ§alo Guedes (Valencia CF)
JoÃ£o FÃ©lix (AtlÃ©tico Madrid)