Barcelona defender Puyol set to miss Euro 2012 after knee surgery

Barcelona defender Carles Puyol played all but seven minutes of Spain's successful World Cup campaign in 2010

Story highlights

  • Barcelona defender Carles Puyol is set to miss Spain's Euro 2012 campaign
  • Puyol will miss six weeks after suffering a knee injury during the game with Espanyol
  • The 34-year-old was a mainstay in Spain's victories at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup
  • Puyol will miss Barcelona's Copa Del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao on May 25

Carles Puyol is poised to miss Spain's defense of their European Championship crown after Barcelona confirmed their captain will be out for six weeks with a knee injury.

The 34-year-old felt pain in his knee after his side's 4-0 victory in the Barcelona derby against Espanyol on Saturday -- a game in which he scored.

The Catalan club have confirmed Puyol will undergo surgery to correct the problem and as a result he will miss the Copa Del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao on May 25.

That match also represents coach Pep Guardiola's last game in charge of the club after he, together with Puyol as skipper, led Barcelona to an unprecedented 13 trophies in his four-year tenure.

A statement on the club's official website read: "Carles Puyol will not be featuring in the Copa del Rey Final on May 25.

"The Medical Services have announced that the player ended the game on Saturday against Espanyol feeling pain in his right knee.

"'Following complementary tests, we have decided to subject the player to arthroscopy next Saturday May 12,' they said.

"The surgery will be directed by Doctor Ramon Cugat. The Catalan is expected to need about six weeks to recover."

With Spain's opening game of Euro 2012 coming against Italy on June 10, it means coach Vicente del Bosque could be without one of his stalwarts for the tournament.

Puyol will be a big loss for Spain. He played all but seven minutes of their successful 2010 World Cup campaign in South Africa and scored the winner in his country's semifinal victory over Germany.

He played the full 120 minutes in the final against Netherlands as Spain won soccer's biggest prize for the first time in their history.

Two years prior to that, Puyol was also an integral part of the Spanish team that won the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland.