International round-up: Babel out

Dutch winger Ryan Babel has been ruled out of this month’s European Championships in Austria and Switzerland after tearing ankle ligaments in training on Saturday. It is a huge blow to Holland, who defeated Wales 2-0 on Sunday in a warm-up match.

Marco Van Basten has called up defender Khalid Boulahrouz as a replacement.

21 year old Babel should be fit for the beginning of the new season, however, he may not be available for Liverpool then as Dutch coach Ari Haan has told how they hope Babel is back to fitness in order to take part in the Olympics, he said “If Ryan is fit he will be at the top of our list for the competition. With his qualities Ryan is a vital player for our plans.”

Rafa Benitez is already expected to be without midfielders Javier Mascherano and Lucas Leiva for the opening games of the season due to the Olympics.

Meanwhile, Spain enjoyed a 2-1 friendly win over Peru on Saturday night, with Reds Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso in action for 45 minutes each. Torres played alongside goalscorer David Villa – something most Liverpool fans would love to see at Anfield. The Spaniards play USA on Wednesday in the last of their warm-up games.

Euro 2008 kicks off on Saturday.