Surprise Call-Up for Injured Alèxia Putellas as Spain Faces Netherlands for Olympic Ticket

Feb 15, 2024 at 2:20 PM Update: an hour ago

Alèxia Putellas was surprisingly called up to the Spanish football players on Thursday for the Nations League match with the Netherlands. Due to injuries, the star player was not expected in the selection for the match in which an Olympic ticket is at stake.

Putellas played her last match on November 14 and has since been out of action due to knee problems. The two-time winner of the Golden Ball underwent surgery in December and has only been partially training with FC Barcelona since this week.

Despite the lack of rhythm, national coach Montserrat Tomé supports her choice to call up the thirty-year-old Putellas. “During the previous international break we missed her leadership in the dressing room. She is our captain and she always has been.”

Due to problems with the same knee, Putellas had to miss the European Championship in 2022 earlier in her career. She was fit just in time for last year’s World Cup. She came on as a substitute in the final against England.

The fact that Putellas is called up again so quickly with her past has raised eyebrows in Spain. “Our intention is to take good care of the players,” Tomé emphasized. “We think she can do her part, but we have to continue to look at it very carefully.”

Olympic ticket is at stake

Spain will play against the Netherlands next Friday in the semi-finals of the Nations League for an Olympic ticket. The winner of the match is assured of qualification for the Games. In principle, the two Nations League finalists will go to Paris.

At the last World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the Netherlands lost to Spain after extra time (2-1). In the event of another defeat, there is still an escape route. In that case, national coach Andries Jonker’s team must hope for a victory for France in the other semi-final against Germany.

Because France, as host country, is already certain of participation in the Olympic Games, the ticket for a French final place goes to the winner of the consolation final. If France also loses, the Dutch Olympic chances will be lost.

Spain-Netherlands and France-Germany both start next Friday at 9 p.m.

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2024-02-15 13:20:39
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