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Spain have been hit with an early blow ahead of the World Cup following the news Thiago Alcantara has been ruled out of the tournament through injury.
The midfielder had been included in Vicente Del Bosque’s 23-man squad for the World Cup, but has now been forced to withdraw after picking up a knee injury while training with Bayern Munich.
Thiago only joined Bayern from Barcelona last summer but has been dogged by injury since leaving the Nou Camp.
The player was forced to miss the start of the season through injury and despite suffering with a number of problems through the campaign, managed to battle his way back to fitness.
However, Bayern have now confirmed that Thiago will now require surgery on his knee and will be ruled out until the start of next season.
“It’s very bitter for Thiago and we’re really sorry for the lad,” said Bayern’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on his club’s website.
“He’s a young lad who’s worked hard on his comeback and to be fit for the World Cup in the country where he was born, and suddenly both dreams are over.
“We’ll take care of him in the coming weeks and do all we can to make sure he’s fit for the start of the next season.”
The news is also a blow to Bayern, who will have to do without Thiago for the DFB-Pokal final against Borussia Dortmund a week on Saturday.