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Barça are going to be very well represented at the first 24-team European Championship next summer. Ten first team players have appeared for five different countries in the qualifying stages that ended this week, and all of them have made it through to the finals, where they will join Jéremy Mathieu’s France, who are hosting the tournament and qualified directly. We take a look at how the different teams have fared on the road to Euro 2016:
Spain: Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets, Andrés Iniesta, Marc Bartra, Jordi Alba and Aleix Vidal
The winners of the last two editions made up for an early defeat in Slovakia by winning all of their remaining games and topping their group. Vicente del Bosque made good use of Piqué, Busquets, Iniesta, Bartra and Jordi Alba, who are all expected to be in his squad next summer. Aleix Vidal has also appeared in friendlies and could well get the nod too.
Croatia: Ivan Rakitic
A win against Malta on the final day combined with Norway’s loss to Italy spared Croatia the ordeal of the playoffs and means they’ll be joining the Italians in France as runners-up in Group H. The star of the Balkan side is Ivan Rakitic, who was recently named Croatian Player of the Year.
Belgium: Thomas Vermaelen
Marc Wilmots’ side defeated Israel in their final match to grab top spot in Group B ahead of Wales, and make it through qualification for the first time since 1984 (in 2000 they qualified directly as hosts). Thomas Vermaelen was back in the team for the first games of this season, but since then has once again been sidelined with injury.
Turkey: Arda Turan
Although he has been unable to play for Barça, Arda Turan has played an important role in his country’s qualification for France at the surprise expense of Holland. Turkey finished Group A behind the Czech Republic and Iceland, but booked direct passage to the finals thanks to having the best record out of the nine third-placed teams.
Germany: Marc-André ter Stegen
The Barça goalkeeper has been promoted from U21 to full international status, but has yet to make his official debut. Despite defeat in Dublin this week, the World champions still topped their group ahead of Poland, with the Irish taking the playoff berth.
France: Jérémy Mathieu
As hosts of the tournament, which starts on June 10 next summer, France did not have to go through the qualification process and have instead been playing friendlies. Didier Deschamps used Barça’s Jérémy Mathieu in the games with Serbia and Armenia last year.
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