The managers who will be leading their teams at this summer’s Euro 2024 will be busy analysing their group stage rivals and their possible opponents in the knockout rounds over the next few months.
The likes of Gareth Southgate and Didier Deschamps will also be giving considerable thought to the make-up of their squads which they hope will fire their nations to European Championship success.
Finalising their list of players is already a headache-inducing task as it is, and it has now got that little bit harder, given that the Euro 2024 squad cap size has been reduced compared to recent major international tournaments.
Here is how many players will be in each squad at Euro 2024.
What is the squad size at Euro 2024?
UEFA has confirmed that the squad size for Euro 2024 will be 23 players.
This is a reduction in the 26 players that managers could include in their squads for Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup.
The cap was raised from the traditional 23 players for Euro 2020 in an attempt to mitigate against the effects of the pandemic, whilst it was increased for the World Cup to ease the burden on players as the tournament was being held in the middle of an already-grueling season.
Given that managers will have three less players to choose from, they can now afford to take fewer risks – and especially given the mandatory inclusion of three goalkeepers in the final 23.
‘We can take far fewer gambles than we were able to take for the last two tournaments where it was 26,’ Southgate said ahead of the qualifier against North Macedonia in November.
‘The size of the squad makes it a different sort of thought process because you’ve had that leeway in the last couple of tournaments to take players that weren’t going to be fit for the first couple of games.
‘Or a bit of cover in certain positions that you might or might not have needed.
‘This time the physical conditioning of players is going to be really important. The ability for players to bat out six, seven games.
‘We know having been to the end of two tournaments that physically the demands on that is far greater than we would have known had we not been through that experience, so we know that is a huge requirement.
‘If you can only sort of take two for each position, players that are adaptable are helpful, players that can play more than one position are helpful.
‘But equally players that are physically vulnerable we will have got to think very carefully about.’
The 26-man cap at Euro 2020 was arguably beneficial to Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire. The former had been absent since February having undergone groin surgery, whilst the latter was forced to sit out the final six weeks of the season owing to an ankle injury.
Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips also made the 26-man squad despite both players suffering with a lack of fitness due to respective groin and shoulder complaints.
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