Villa likely to miss Euro final after pulling muscle

June 27th, 2008 - 9:52 am ICT by IANS  

Vienna, June 27 (DPA) Spain striker David Villa, Euro 2008’s top scorer so far with four goals, is likely to miss Sunday’s final against Germany, coach Luis Aragones confirmed Thursday. “He will miss the final because he pulled a muscle. It is nothing serious, but he will miss the final,” Aragones said on television immediately after the semi-final.

Just minutes later, in a press conference, the coach was more optimistic and said that Spain’s medical team will do what they can to make it possible for the Valencia striker to play the decisive game.

“He has a pulled muscle. We will see if he can make the final,” Aragones said.

Spain doctor Jorge Candel told DPA dpa that it was “virtually impossible” for the forward to play Sunday.

“We will see how he evolves (Friday). He has a small tear, a strain. But it is virtually impossible for him to play Sunday,” Candel said.

Villa himself told Spanish television channel Cuatro that he envisaged a different role for himself in the final.

“Now I will have to enjoy it from outside,” he said. “Forcing things Sunday would be silly. I would do it even if I only had one leg, but this is a team. There are people who would do better if they are 100 percent than I would do injured.”

Spain captain Iker Casillas said Villa’s injury “is a shame.”

“Not everything has a happy ending. It had been pretty good that injuries and cards were staying away from us. Let’s hope that the team gets the title, because it will be his too,” Casillas said.

Spain beat Russia 3-0 in Thursday’s semi, but Villa had to be replaced after 34 minutes due to injury. His replacement, Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, was one of the stars of the show.

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