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The stolen youth of refugee minors

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Key Madrid player seriously injured

Latest update : 2008-08-03

Wesley Sneijder, Real Madrid's key creative midfielder, has suffered a "serious" knee injury during a friendly match against Arsenal which could see him out of action for six months. Real's coach stated he was "very worried".

Real Madrid's Dutch international Wesley Sneijder suffered serious knee damage during a heavy tackle by Arsenal's Abou Diaby in Sunday's match in London, the Spanish club said.

Midfielder Sneijder was stretchered off in the second half of the Emirates Cup match which Arsenal won 1-0.

"Initial tests show serious damage to his knee ligaments, but the player will undergo complementary exams including an MRI on Monday to determine the full extent of the injury," Real said on their website.

Coach Bernd Schuster said he was "very worried" and that Sneijder "will be out for a while.

"It's really tough. He is in a lot of pain and we predict the worst," the club quoted him as saying.

The 24-year-old was about the start his second season with Real after joining the club from Ajax last year.

The absence of the key player would be a hard blow for the Spanish champions.

But Real Madrid have set their sights on another Dutch midfielder, Rafael van der Vaart of Hamburg, and have made a nine million-euros (14 million-dollars) swoop for the player.

Date created : 2008-08-03

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