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Page last updated at 21:37 GMT, Friday, 27 June 2008 22:37 UK

Striker Villa to miss Euro final

Sun 29 June Kick-off: 1945 BST Venue: Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna
Coverage: Live on BBC ONE and BBC Sport website (UK only), full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and on BBC Sport website (UK only), full text coverage on BBC Sport website and on mobiles

Spain's David Villa
Villa left the field because of injury in Spain's semi-final win over Russia

Spain striker David Villa has been ruled out of Sunday's Euro 2008 final against Germany, the Spanish football federation has confirmed.

Villa, 26, injured a thigh muscle in Thursday's semi-final win over Russia.

Spain had been hoping the forward would be able to play some part in the final in Vienna, but he was finally ruled out following a hospital scan on Friday.

"Valencia striker David Villa, the top scorer at Euro 2008, is definitely out of Sunday's final," said a statement.

Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who replaced Villa in the semi-final, could come into the team for the final.

Tests revealed Villa has a small tear to the muscle in the back of his right thigh.

The much-coveted Valencia striker said immediately after the semi-final he would not be fit and had resigned himself to watching the game from the stands.

"I'm a little sad that I won't be there to take part but it's better that a team-mate who is fit plays instead of me, particularly as my injury has left me limping quite badly," he said.

I know how well he can perform, he is a great player like others in our squad

Spain coach Luis Aragones on Cesc Fabregas

"Now I have to enjoy the show from outside. To play on Sunday would be a lottery.

"I would do it even if I had to play on one leg but this is a team - there are other players who will do better 100% than one who is injured.

"At the start I was really upset because I knew it was going to be very difficult to play in the final if we got there.

"I just want to enjoy Sunday and celebrate winning the European Championship with everyone else. This is an achievement for the whole squad and we want to take the glory on Sunday."


Spain coach Luis Aragones believes bringing in Fabregas could help his side compete against a strong German midfield.

"I know how well he can perform, he is a great player like others in our squad," he said.

"It's better for numbers and pressure (to have an extra midfielder) and that is how Xavi scored his goal. The point is to make them feel free."

Fabregas is raring to go if called upon and said: "I am here when the manager needs me.

"It is good, we came here to win the tournament and we got to the final, which I think is the most difficult thing.

"In the final anything can happen, a lot of things can influence the game."

see also
Russia 0-3 Spain
26 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Russia v Spain as it happened
26 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Italian ref chosen for Euro final
23 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008

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