Virgil van Dijk has ruled himself out of this summer's Euros with Holland.
The Liverpool defender will instead focus on being fit for pre-season with his club.
Van Dijk, 29, has not played since suffering a serious ACL injury against Everton in October.
The Dutchman has been ramping up his rehabilitation in recent weeks but he won't play again this season.
And he has also now confirmed he will not rush back to play for his country in this summer's re-arranged tournament.
“Seven months ago I got injured and it’s been a very, very long road,” he told Liverpool's website.
“I had to take it step by step, as I have done.
“Things have been going well, I’ve not had a real setback or anything, I’ve just progressed nicely.
“In this latest stage for myself, I have come to a decision that I had to make: would I be involved in the Euros, yes or no?
“With everything that is going on, I feel physically it is the right decision that I’ve decided not to go to the Euros and to go into my last phase of rehab during the off-season.
“So, the full focus will be on pre-season with the club and that’s a realistic goal, so I am looking forward to that.
“Obviously I am very gutted to miss the Euros, to miss the European Championship and leading out my own country there, but things have been like they have and I have to accept it – we all have to accept it.
“I think the decision to not go is the right decision in the grand scheme of things. It’s tough, but I’m at peace with it.”
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Van Dijk hopes to return to full fitness to help lead his country to next year's World Cup in Qatar.
But he is also champing at the bit to get back for the Reds, who have relinquished their crown as Premier League champions in his absence.
The former Southampton defender said: “I am not the youngest anymore.
“I’m obviously not old, but I am quite mature and I know by now what could be a good decision – and I think this decision has definitely been the right one, in my opinion, to give my body and my knee a little bit more extra time to get ready for hopefully a big, big 18 months at least with the club but also with my country because we’re trying to go to the next tournament after this as well and that starts in September.
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“I knew for a fact before all of this – before this decision and in the beginning of my rehab – there would be pressure on myself in this case.
“Hopefully, everybody wants me to be back as quick as possible, but for me it is to get back as good as possible and the time is not the most important thing.
“Obviously I want to be back out there, I want to be helping my teammates, helping my country in this case and I obviously want to help the club, but I think it’s the right thing to do to stay a little bit more patient and work even harder during the off-season and get ready.”
Liverpool face Manchester United on Thursday hoping to get a win to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
But Van Dijk cannot wait to get back to full fitness to help the team out after a disappointing season.
He said: “We all know how the season has gone – and we’re not happy with how it’s gone.
“It’s been frustrating for all of us, for all the Liverpool fans.
“With everything that is going on in the world and in the football world as well, personally it has been a very tough year, but I am looking forward to next season.
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“I am looking forward to football hopefully with fans and with Holland, we will try to reach the next tournament and hopefully I can lead the boys there for a historical tournament, but we’re not there yet.
“It’s going to be a very, very hard but hopefully promising 18 months for club and country.”
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