I’ll be back after finals, vows Puyol

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol is still hoping to reach 100 appearances for Spain despite acknowledging he is almost certain to miss this summer’s European Championships due to a knee problem.

Barca announced this week that Puyol will undergo an arthroscopy on Saturday after feeling discomfort in his right knee following last weekend’s 4-0 defeat of Espanyol and that is set to sideline the centre-back for around six weeks.

That means the 34-year-old is definitely out of Barca’s final Primera Division game at Real Betis at the weekend as well as coach Pep Guardiola’s last game in charge — the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao on May 25. His participation at Euro 2012, where Spain will face Ireland in Group C is also in doubt.

However, he said he is not ready to quit the international scene just yet.

He said: “My plan right now is only to undergo the operation and recover as soon as possible. I’m sure that things are going to turn out well and very soon I will be back playing again.

“I don’t know if it was my last European Championship but I do know that I want to retire on the pitch and not on the operating table.

“I’m only thinking about returning to 100%. If then I can return to play with the national team I would love to reach that number [100 caps].”


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