Spain suffered a second injury blow in the first 45 minutes of their 2020 Olympics campaign in Tokyo.
La Roja are taking on Egypt this morning in the opening game of the Olympics football tournament, and it has not started well for Luis de la Fuente’s men.
Within 20 minutes, Barcelona defender Oscar Mingueza had to be replaced by Jesus Vallejo after overstretching and appearing to tweak a muscle in his right leg.
And before the first half came to an end, the injury list doubled with Real Madrid star Dani Ceballos forced off.
The former Arsenal loanee was replaced by Jon Moncayola in stoppage time of the first-half with the score still at 0-0 following a nasty challenge from Taher Mohamed.
Taher’s studs were planted right across the lower leg of Ceballos and the midfielder, who had impressed in the first half, hitting the post, was limping very heavily afterwards.
The incident was reviewed by the referee on the VAR screen, but a yellow card was awarded, and perhaps rightly so.
As nasty as the challenge looked, Taher’s head was turned in the complete opposite direction to Ceballos and there was no way he could have been aware of the La Roja midfielder getting his leg underneath and to the ball before he did.
The injury will be a real concern to Spain and indeed Real Madrid.
La Roja still have games against Argentina and Australia to come as part of the group stage, as well as knockout stage fixtures if all goes well.