Euro 2012: 3 Candidates to Replace Carles Puyol in Spain's Starting XI

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Euro 2012: 3 Candidates to Replace Carles Puyol in Spain's Starting XI
Puyol out for Euro 2012

FC Barcelona and Spanish national team defender Carles Puyol is set to undergo knee surgery and will miss the Copa del Rey for Barcelona and Euro 2012, as the Spanish look to retain the European championship.

According to reports, Puyol reportedly felt a discomfort in his right knee Saturday during Barcelona's 4-0 victory over RCD Espanyol.

“After tests were conducted it was decided he would have arthroscopic surgery on May 12,” the Catalan club stated on their website.

At 34, Carles Puyol’s days as a starting CB for Spain are over, and they may be numbered at Barcelona as well, as that team looks to get younger defensively. Carles has more than likely played in his last major international tournament and will more than likely retire from international play soon.

Spain’s first game at EURO 2012 is scheduled for June 10 against Italy.

With Carles out, manager Vicente del Bosque will be looking to replace a starting XI player in his squad. Del Bosque will announce a provisional squad on May 15, which will be cut down to 22 players for the final squad on May 27.

In years past, players like Joan Capdevila and Carlos Marchena would be called up. But with both players past their prime, it is unlikely that Del Bosque will call up either player.

A young defender will be needed so Spain can keep up with speedy forwards like Germany’s Mesut Ozil, the Netherlands’ Arjen Robben, and of course Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo if La Roja were to face them.

Who are the best alternatives to replace Carles Puyol in Spain’s back line alongside Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, and Jordi Alba?

Here are the three players who will be in serious consideration to replace Puyol.

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