The latest comparison between Guardiola and Rijkaard will see the two pure attackers going head to head. Of course, this means David Villa versus Samuel Eto’o.
Two weeks ago, I would have declared this an easy victory for Eto’o, as despite his goal-scoring pedigree, Villa was not producing the goods for Barcelona. Eto’o was a hugely prolific goal-scorer, and Villa was failing to live up to his high standards.
However, recent games suggest that Villa has finally shaken the rust of the World Cup off, and settled fully into this system. Goals against Sporting, Mallorca and Arsenal were no just goals, but important ones. The one versus Arsenal could even what separates the two sides next Tuesday night and keeps the Blaugrana in the Champions League.
Villa has had to take a hit to his ego, adjusting to the fact that he is no longer the star player in his side. At Valencia, he was the focal point of every attack, but partnering Messi he has had to change his style of play and change position to the left-wing.
Sure, you can argue that he plays there for Spain, but the occasional game in one position is easy, adapting your whole game and playing there for club; that certainly is not.
Eto’o is/was also a centre-forward, and under Rijkaard was the goal-scorer of the team. He lies at 8th place of the all-time scoring list for Barcelona, so if he played for Barcelona today, would have to adapt his game to accommodate for Messi. This would mean a move to the wing which he did at Inter under Mourinho.
So if we compare the Eto’o that played on the wing under Mourinho with the Villa who plays on the wing, we will get a better picture for who is better. Eto’o scored 16 on the wing in 09/10, where as Villa has already scored 21.
So, from this you can see that Villa is better on the wing, and given Messi’s undoubted quality, that is the position they would play in any team with the Argentine.
So for that reason, despite the fact he is one of the best strikers ever to grace the game, he loses out to another.
Winner: David Villa