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Atletico Madrid's Villa to miss Spain's qualifiers

The Canadian Press

10/6/2013 12:17:03 PM

MADRID, Spain -- The Spanish football federation says striker David Villa will miss the world champions' two upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Villa, Spain's all-time leading scorer, has been ruled out of Friday's game against Belarus and against Georgia four days later after aggravating a case of arthritis in his left ankle.

Villa asked to be substituted during the second half of Atletico's 2-1 win over Celta Vigo on Sunday.

The federation did not say if coach Vicente del Bosque will name a replacement.

Del Bosque already replaced the injured Raul Albiol with defender Inigo Martinez on Saturday.

Spain is joint top of European Group I, level with France on points but with a game in hand.