Spain’s Alexia Putellas injures knee ahead of Women’s Euro opener

Alexia Putellas of FC Barcelona
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MADRID (AP) — Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas injured her left knee in training on Tuesday, three days before Spain’s opening match in the European Women’s Championship.

The extent of Putellas’ injury was yet to be determined, and whether she will remain with the squad for the tournament in England, the Spanish soccer federation said.

The federation didn’t elaborate on Putellas’ sprained knee.

She is set to lead a Spain side that enters a major women’s tournament as a title favorite for the first time. The team has been boosted by a significant growth in women’s soccer in recent years, highlighted by Barcelona winning its first Champions League title and Real Madrid creating its own women’s team — all since the last Women’s World Cup in 2019.

Spain is enjoying an unbeaten streak that started in March 2020, and is ranked at an all-time high No. 7 in the world.

It will open the Women’s Euro on Friday in Group B against Finland. Denmark and eight-time European champion Germany are also in the group.

Spain’s best finish at the Women’s Euro was the semifinals in 1997. It reached the quarterfinals in 2013 and 2017.