David Villa has been ruled out of Spain’s World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein on Tuesday after pulling up in training on Sunday with a thigh problem.
Doctors confirmed the New York City striker has sustained a muscle strain and the decision has been taken for him to leave the Spain squad. Villa will therefore not travel to Lichtenstein.
The Spanish football federation confirmed the situation in a statement.
Villa recall three years after retirement
Villa was recalled to the national team three years after his last appearance at the 2014 World Cup, after which the now 35-year-old retired from international duty. He later reversed that decision but few anticipated he would receive the call from Lopetegui after moving to MLS from Atlético Madrid at the end of the 2013-14 season.
The former Sporting, Zaragoza, Valencia, and Barcelona striker came on for Isco in the 89th minute of the 3-0 victory over Italy and would have hoped to feature more prominently against Liechtenstein as he sought to add to his 59 goals for Spain, the all-time record.
El Guaje two caps short of century
Villa now stands on 98 caps for his country and it remains to be seen if Lopetegui calls on him again for the final set of qualifiers against Albania and Israel, where he could reach the 100 mark.