Manchester City winger David Silva says he can't imagine the Spanish squad without top scorer David Villa, who will miss UEFA EURO 2012 due to injury, and warns winning the tournament will not be easy.
Villa - who has scored 51 goals in 82 internationals making him Spain's all-time record goalscorer - was left out of Spain's UEFA EURO 2012 squad as he failed to get back to full fitness after breaking a leg in December.
"It is a new situation for us. The truth is I don't know what life for the national team will be like without Villa," Silva told Spanish sports daily Marca. "Hopefully it will be the same but El Guaje is a very important player for us, he is pure goal. We are going to miss him both on and off the pitch," added Silva, referring to the Barcelona striker by his nickname.
Spain are looking to become the first nation to win three international trophies in a row after winning EURO 2008 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
"We can always dream about it, of course, but we have to be conscious that other teams are equally strong, of the potential of the other teams and that winning is very demanding and you must suffer a great deal," said Silva. "It can happen, but nobody can think that it is going to be easy," the 26-year-old added.
Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo will effectively fill the void left by Villa's absence after Spain coach Vicente del Bosque on Sunday appointed the player for the final striker's spot in Spain's squad for EURO 2012. Four members of the 2008 squad are missing this time around, with talismanic defender Carles Puyol also out due to injury and Carlos Marchena and Joan Capdevila no longer in favour.
Spain opens its title defence against Italy on 10 June in Gdansk, Poland, before facing the Republic of Ireland four days later and Croatia on 18 June in its other Group C games.