Double blow for Spain
By James Pearson. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
SPANISH national coach Inaki Saez has suffered a blow ahead of the team's Euro 2004 qualifier against Greece after Carles Puyol and Pablo Orbaiz both withdrew from the squad through injury.
Puyol sprained his right knee in Barcelona's opening Liga match against Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou, whilst Atletico Bilbao`s Orbaiz was injured in his side's 4-2 defeat against Real Sociedad.
Puyol, who was outstanding in this summer's World Cup for Spain, is being examined by club doctors on Monday to reveal the full extent of the knock and has been replaced by Real Madrid's Michel Salgado.
Real Betis defender Fernando Varela has been called-up by Saez to replace Orbaiz, after the defender damaged an ankle in the Basque country derby.
The team are staying and training at a hotel in Valencia before travelling to Greece on Thursday for the qualifier.
The Spanish will be hoping to begin Group 6 with a win, as they then entertain Northern Ireland before travelling to Kiev for a difficult tie against Ukraine.