Spain will defend its European Championship soccer title without forward David Villa, who was the tournament’s leading scorer four years ago.
Villa, who’s scored 51 goals in 82 games for Spain, told national team coach Vicente Del Bosque yesterday that he’s not fit to play in the June 8-July 1 tournament after breaking his leg while playing for Barcelona at December’s Club World Cup.
“After not getting in the final training and development required, David Villa spoke with Del Bosque, who relayed that although it was Villa’s wish to be with the team in Poland and Ukraine, his physical condition is not as good as would be desirable,” the Spanish soccer federation said in a statement on its website.
Del Bosque is scheduled to name his squad on May 27 and will also be without defender Carles Puyol, who had knee surgery May 12. Spain opens its title defense against Italy on June 10 in Gdansk, Poland, before facing the Republic of Ireland four days later and Croatia on June 18 in its other Group C games.