Alexia Putellas is set to miss the entirety of Euro 2022 after Spain confirmed she has ruptured her ACL.
News of the Ballon d’Or winner’s injury emerged on the eve of the tournament, which starts at Old Trafford on Wednesday when England take on Austria.
Spain were the pre-tournament favourites, although having already lost Jenni Hermoso to injury, the nation will be rocked by their captain’s diagnosis after she twisted her knee in training.
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“The tests carried out on the Spanish international in London have confirmed that the captain of the Spanish Women's National Team suffered a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee,” a Spain statement read.
Earlier in the day, Putellas was pictured on crutches heading for the scan in the UK capital.
The midfielder has scored 27 goals in a record 100 appearances for Spain, while she inspired Barcelona to the Champions League last year and an unbeaten league campaign in this past season.
Spain boss Jorge Vilda was full of praise for Putellas after she won her 100th cap against Italy recently.
"She’s young and, best of all, is passionate about football and understands it very well, which is not something every player has," he said.
"She has so much quality, sees things before others and executes everything with pace and style."
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