The season is over, international summer begins! For many players there will be a few weeks of rest and recovery ahead, but several Liverpool stars and starlets have work to do for their national teams, with big tournaments on the horizon.
Of course, Euro 2020 will have the headlines.
But with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics taking place, plus the Copa America and a batch of World Cup qualifiers also going on, there’s barely any scope for downtime for many national teams just yet. And, of course, the never-ending friendlies to prepare for all of those competitive games.
The first of those starts on Sunday, where Conor Bradley could make his Northern Ireland debut before he has even made a Liverpool squad.
His nation face Malta in a friendly and an end-of-season squad has regular faces missing on account of injury, play-off involvement and the manager’s need to find new talent – so Bradley could well see some action.
At the other end of the experience scale, Xherdan Shaqiri is set to win his 90th cap for Switzerland when they face the United States at St. Gallen.
Shaq is a real history-maker with his national team; an appearance here takes him outright seventh on the all-time caps list with the Swiss, ahead of iconic midfielder Gokhan Inler, while he’s also his nation’s seventh all-time highest goalscorer with 23 strikes so far.
On Monday, there’s a first chance for supporters to see our new signing in action: Ibrahima Konate could feature for France as the final rounds of the U21 European Championships get underway.
The tournament concluded the group stage in March and now the quarter-finals begin, with France facing a Netherlands side which could contain another couple of defenders linked with the Reds: Perr Schuurs and Sven Botman.
Sadio Mane is in action as the African sides start their friendlies next week. However, Naby Keita is not involved in Guinea’s game on Monday, after being omitted from their squad for no fewer than four international friendlies being played across the next 12 days. Given his fitness issues this season, it’s a bit of a relief that he won’t be pressed into such a crazy end-of-season schedule.
Across the rest of next week, the warm-ups ahead of Euro 2020 start in earnest, with each of Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Neco Williams and Harry Wilson potentially in action on Wednesday.
Indeed, Robbo could quickly come face to face with Gini Wijnaldum again, with Scotland facing Netherlands, while further friendlies in midweek could see the likes of Takumi Minamino, Kostas Tsimikas and Caoimhin Kelleher see game time with their respective nations.
Liverpool players on international duty this week
Scotland – Andy Robertson
vs Netherlands – Weds 2 June, 7.45pm – Friendly
vs Luxembourg – Sun 6 June, 5pm – Friendly
Northern Ireland – Conor Bradley
vs Malta – Sun 30 June, 5pm – Friendly
vs Ukraine – Thurs 3 June, 7pm – Friendly
Switzerland – Xherdan Shaqiri
vs United States – Sun 30 May, 7pm – Friendly
vs Liechtenstein – Thurs 3 June, 5pm – Friendly
Japan – Takumi Minamino
vs Jamaica – Thurs 3 June, 11.30am – Friendly
vs Tajikistan – Mon 7 June, 11.30am – World Cup qualifier
vs Serbia – Fri 11 June, 11.25am – Friendly
vs Kyrgyz Republic – Tues 15 June, 11.25am – World Cup qualifier
Republic of Ireland – Caoimhin Kelleher
vs Andorra – Thurs 3 June, 5pm – Friendly
vs Hungary – Tues 8 June, 7pm – Friendly
Portugal – Diogo Jota
vs Spain – Fri 4 June, 6.30pm – Friendly
vs Israel – Wed 9 June, 7.45pm – Friendly
Greece – Kostas Tsimikas
vs Belgium, Thurs 3 June, 7.45pm – Friendly
vs Norway, Sunday 6 June, 6pm – Friendly
Senegal – Sadio Mane
vs Zambia – Sat 5 June, 8pm – Friendly
vs Cape Verde Islands – Weds 8 June, 8pm – Friendly
France U21s – Ibrahima Konate
vs Netherlands – Mon 31 May, 5pm – U21 Euros QF
TBC – Thurs 3 June, 8pm – U21 Euros SF
TBC – Sun 6 June 8pm – U21 Euros final
Wales U21 – Morgan Boyes
vs Moldova – Fri 4 June, 7.30pm – U21 Euros qualifier