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Euro 2012: Spain can cope without Villa and Puyol says Martinez


Euro 2012: Spain can cope without Villa and Puyol says Martinez


Reigning World and European champions Spain on Wednesday underwent their first training session since arriving at their Euro 2012 base in northern Poland the day before.

The most notable absentees were injured pair David Villa and Carles Puyol – both of whom played key roles in Spain’s recent world and European triumph, but both of whom have been left at home.

Villa, Spain’s all-time leading goal scorer, broke his left leg while competing for Barcelona in the Club World Cup in December.

He has not played a competitive match since then.

Puyol meanwhile was ruled out when a knee injury forced the 34-year-old to undergo surgery in early May.

Javi Martinez, who can play as a defensive midfielder or in Puyol’s usual position in central defence said: ‘‘Puyol and Villa are two essential players. They played a big role at the last two tournaments. But the new guys coming through are doing as well as they use to and if everyone pulls together it shouldn’t be a problem.’‘

Spain indeed have a wealth of talent to fill the void including Barcelona defender Gerard Pique and a resurgent Fernando Torres up front.

Spain begin their Group C campaign against Italy in Gdansk on Sunday.

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