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Injury haunts Italy, Spain for Euro 2008 campaign
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Injury has haunted world champion Italy and Euro 2008 favorite Spain in their training session for the every-four-year football gala.

Italy caption Fabio Cannavaro and Spain's top striker Fernando Torres suffered injuries, leading to widespread worries among the two squads, both favorites for the Euro 2008 title.

Cannavaro tore his ankle ligaments in the first training session over the weekend in Austria and the renowned defender is to go through an operation in Vienna on Wednesday, it was revealed on Tuesday.

Cannavaro, who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid, said expected to be out for a "few months" and missed the upcoming European championship, which lasts from June 7 till June 29.

"This was my last European championship. We are footballers and these things happen," he said.

However, the 34-year-old defender said he would be staying with the squad.

"After two years working on this campaign it seems right for me to stay with my teammates," said he, who boasts 116 caps for Italy national football team.

During a training session, Cannavaro collided with Giorgio Chiellini and was carried off on a stretcher. He was then taken to Vienna hospital where an MRI scan confirmed ligament damage.

Cannavaro's place in the 23-strong squad has been filled by Alessandro Gamberini. The Italians face France, the Netherlands and Romania in a tough Group C.

For Spaniards, first-choice striker Fernando Torres suffered an ankle strain and that kept him out of training on Tuesday.

Fortunately, however, team doctor Jorge Candel claimed the knock, to his right ankle, would not keep him out of Spain's final warmup game against the United States on Wednesday.

The Liverpool man is crucial to his country's hopes, having cemented his place as coach Luis Aragones's first-choice goalscorer and found the net over 30 times in his first season in Premier League.

(Xinhua News Agency June 4, 2008)

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