Arbeloa: Puyol's absence a big blow for Spain

The Real Madrid defender has admitted that the Barcelona skipper's absence at the Euros will be felt by the reigning champions, but assured that the team will fill the void
Alvaro Arbeloa has acknowledged that the absence of experienced defender Carles Puyol is a big blow for Spain ahead of Euro 2012.

The Barcelona captain underwent knee surgery in May, and consequently had to miss this summer's European Championship, much to the disappointment of Arbeloa.

"[Carles] Puyol's absence is quite painful. We all know his footballing qualities – he has great positional sense, he's quick, strong and has good reactions," the full-back stated to
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"Carles is the type who gives those around him lots of confidence on the pitch, and whose experience is vital. On and off the pitch his character is a plus for us.

"The best way to explain it is that those of us who are here will do our best to ensure that people don't notice his absence."

Spain start Euro 2012 with the Group C match against Italy on June 10.