Spain’s David Villa will miss Sunday’s Euro 2008 final against Germany after picking up a thigh injury in the semi-final win over Russia.
The 26-year-old striker came off after 34 minutes of Spain’s 3-0 victory after injuring himself taking a free-kick.
“Now I have to enjoy the show from outside,” said Villa, who is the leading scorer at the tournament with four goals.
“To play on Sunday would be a lottery – I would do it even if I had to play on one leg but this is a team.
“There are other players who will do better 100% than one who is injured.
“At the start I was really upset because I knew it was going to be very difficult to play in the final if we got there.
“I just want to enjoy Sunday and celebrate winning the European Championship with everyone else.
“This is an achievement for the whole squad and we want to take the glory on Sunday.”
Spain coach Luis Aragones confirmed Villa’s absence from Sunday’s final.
“Villa will miss the final,” he revealed. “It’s not serious but he’ll miss the final because he has a pull.”
The Valencia striker was replaced by Cesc Fabregas, and Aragones has hinted that the Arsenal midfielder may replace Villa for the final.
“I know how well he can perform, he is a great player like others in our squad,” said Aragones.
“It’s better for numbers and pressure (to have an extra midfielder) and that is how Xavi scored his goal. The point is to make them feel free.”
Fabregas is hopeful of a place in the starting XI, stating: “I am here when the manager needs me.
“It is good, we came here to win the tournament and we got to the final, which I think is the most difficult thing.
“In the final anything can happen, a lot of things can influence the game.”