Spain Downplays Puyol's Absence

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Iker Casillas is confident that Spain will be able to cope with Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo without the absent Carles Puyol at the heart of the defense in Wednesday's Euro 2012 semifinal encounter.

The European and world champions were dealt a huge blow prior to the tournament as the Barcelona defender was ruled out of the finals after undergoing surgery on a knee problem.

Despite missing their most experienced defender, Spain has conceded only once so far in four matches at the Euros, and Casillas believes that Gerard Pique will be able to restrict the attacking threat of Ronaldo having had plenty of experience at club level.

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