Spain players rued the absence of star striker David Villa from their Euro 2012 campaign but said they were still geared up to become the first country to win three major titles in a row.
“Villa’s absence is a hard blow, especially when you think of his contribution during the World Cup,” said Malaga’s Santiago Cazorla. “If he hadn’t been in the Euro or the World Cup, we probably wouldn’t have been champions.”
Defender Alvaro Dominguez, however, said La Roja cannot afford to dwell on Villa’s absence.
“It’s a difficult loss but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” he said. “We have to make sure we can make up for it and get on with it as well as possible.”
Spain’s football federation announced late on Tuesday that Villa would not take part in Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, as he had failed to get back to full fitness after breaking a leg in December. Spain are looking to become the first nation to win three international trophies in a row. But with key players like Villa and defender Carlos Puyol injured – and stars from Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao getting ready for the King’s Cup final on Friday – there are many new faces at this year’s training camp.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2012.