Villa & Puyol reject invitation to be with Spain set-up at Euro 2012 - report

The Barcelona pair have turned down a request from the Royal Spanish Football Federation to be with their peers in Poland to focus on their personal injury rehabilitation
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Injured Barcelona pair David Villa and Carles Puyol have rejected an invitation to be with their peers in the Spain camp in Poland during Euro 2012, according to Marca.
Ben Hayward, Spanish Editor

Puyol and Villa will be sorely missed by Spain at Euro 2012. The Barca pair are also key players in the dressing room. They have seen it, done it, been there and won it with La Roja. This time, however, they will not be involved and their influence in Poland and Ukraine, while well-intentioned, may have been counter-productive, too. Del Bosque has already expressed doubts over the benefits of having them involved, saying it can lead to "comparisons and grievances." It's hardly surprising, then, that Villa and Puyol should decline the RFEF's offer of travelling to the Spain camp for Euro 2012.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) tried to persuade the injured duo after boss Vicente del Bosque had previously voiced his opposition to the idea saying: "it is something that can lead to comparisons and grievances."

The two players have said they will instead focus on their rehabilitation ahead of next season, but added they would be happy to see the squad at the invitation of the Spanish FA but only for a visit and only for a particular reason.

Villa, who has won 82 caps and is Spain's all-time top scorer with a total of 51 goals broke his tibia in the World Club Championship in December and hasn't made an appearance since.

Puyol, who is one appearance short of securing his 100th cap for his homeland, is sidelined with a knee injury and both players have said they don't want to stay with the squad indefinitely.

Spain will kick off the defence of their European title against Italy on June 10.