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Puyol concedes he won't be fit for Euro 2012

Madrid, May 9 - FC Barcelona defender Carlos Puyol Wednesday conceded that he won't recover from his knee injury in time to represent defending champions Spain in the Euro 2012 Football Championships.

Puyol will have an operation on his right knee Saturday and the estimated six weeks recovery time means he will not be fit to help Spain defend their title in the competition which kicks off June 8 in Poland and Ukraine.

"I think it is complicated, I have to wait and see what the doctors say, but I think it is impossible and there will be other players who are in better shape than I am and it would not be fair to take someone who is not 100 percent fit," Puyol was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

The 34 year-old suffered knee problems last season and has struggled for fitness during the current campaign. Puyol said he was surprised at the injury, which he first noticed after last Saturday's 4-0 win against Espanyol.

"I didn't have any problems, but at the end of the game, I felt something in the back of my knee. I rested Sunday and Monday I underwent tests after which the doctors told me the best thing was an operation," he explained.

Puyol has made 99 appearances for Spain and the injury raises the question as to whether or not he will continue his international career after the summer.

The defender had previously considered retiring from international football after the 2010 World Cup, but was persuaded to continue by Spain coach Vicente del Bosque.

"If afterwards I can reach 100 caps then I would be delighted. I will see how I recover and then I will speak to the coaches. I want to retire on a football pitch and not in an operating theatre," said Puyol.


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