IRELAND WILL NOT face a Spanish front line featuring David Villa in Gdansk next month.
The Barcelona forward has been ruled out of the tournament by national team manager Vicente del Bosque.
Villa broke his tibia while in action for the Nou Camp outfit at the World Club Challenge in Japan last December.
Earlier today Villa’s club team-mate Gerard Pique indicated he expected the striker to return in time and Del Bosque had promised to give the 30-year-old until the last moment to get himself ready. But this evening he’s instead called time on Villa’s fitness fight.
“David Villa cannot definitely be on the list for Euro 2012,” a statement on the Spanish Football Federation’s official website tonight read:
“Villa spoke with the national team doctor this afternoon after the arrival of the team in the Austrian town of Schruns.
“After not getting in the final practice and development desired, David Villa spoke with Del Bosque, who relayed that although it was Villa’s wish to be with the team in Poland and Ukraine, that his physical state was ‘not as good’ as would be desirable.”
Ireland face Group C rivals Spain on 14 June as well as Italy and Croatia.
“I’ve tried, but I can’t be 100 percent to play the Eurocup. I called Vicente del Bosque to say him. It’s the honest thing I could do,” Villa said via Twitter.
His absence is likely to leave Valencia’s Roberto Soldado, Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente and Chelsea’s Fernando Torres competing for a starting berth in Del Bosque’s first team.