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Distressed by Alexia Putellas’s torn ACL, Spain may find a suitable cause to regroup and fight for

Sam Mallia/Sports Press Photo

Everybody seemed to know before they actually knew. The facial expressions said it all, the procession of staff members and doctor surrounding Alexia Putellas on her way to hospital spoke by itself.

The Spanish captain had suffered a knee injury during the morning session at the national team’s camp base in Bisham Abbey, and while it had been reported earlier in the day as a probable minor damage, the images left no room for hope. “I’ll be watching you so you cannot run away”, defender Mapi León was heard telling her teammate in a futile effort to ease the cautious walk on stretchers. But even León looks petrified.

In hindsight, this may well be the main purpose for publishing the clip: softening the blow before the official announcement confirming the worst: the Ballon d’Or and Spain’s undisputed leader had torn the anterior cruciate ligament of her left knee on the eve of the 2022 UEFA EUROs start.

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