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Reviewing David Villa’s Time At FC Barcelona

David Villa has agreed to join Atlético Madrid for a maximum fee of €5.1 million. So how well has “El Guaje” performed in Catalonia?

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Villa joined Barcelona in 2010 for a reported €40 million after five years at Valencia. Villa was brought in by Pep Guardiola as a replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic after Guardiola decided he needed a striker who could fit Barcelona's style of play. After Villa's experience with the Spanish national team, it was clear he was the most appropriate candidate and he was presented to over 35,000 fans inside the Camp Nou and was given the number seven - a shirt fabled in Barcelona's history, previously worn by the likes of Luis Figo and Henrik Larsson, meaning the expectation of Villa was more than the average player.

El Guaje made his debut in the the 4-0 victory against Sevilla in the Supercopa de España and just over a week late the striker made his La Liga debut for Barcelona. Scoring the third goal in a 3-0 victory over Racing de Santander.

The goals continued to flow for Villa and he ended the season by scoring the final goal in the 3-1 Champions League final victory against Manchester United. The number seven ended the season with 34 goals for club and country as well as La Liga and Champions League medals. Marking a successful switch to the red and blue of Barcelona.

Having made a promising start to the 2011-12 season, scoring 11 goals in 27 matches, many predicted another season of success for Villa and his adopted position on the left wing. But this was cut short as Villa broke his tibia during the FIFA Club World Cup match against Al Sadd, ruling him out for the rest of the season as well as Euro 2012.

Villa continued to work on his recovery as his Spanish teammates retained their European Championship crown and speculation about whether Villa would ever be able to truly recover began to grow. But after a total of eight months out injured, Villa returned to the pitch against Dinamo Bucharest. Eight days later, Villa was back in La Liga coming on for Pedro against Real Sociedad. The comeback was marked perfectly as Villa got onto the scoresheet and dedicated his goal to his family.

The Spaniard appeared to pick up where he left off and began scoring important goals for Barcelona again, most notably the final goal in the 3-2 comeback against Sevilla helping to maintain Barcelona's 100% win record in La Liga. Villa's starting appearances were rare during the 2012-13 season as the all time top scorer for the Spanish national team began to make more and more bench appearances. Villa was also heavily linked away from the club in the 2013 winter transfer window with English side Arsenal showing the most interest. Regardless Villa continued to help Barcelona in their quest to regain the league title from Real Madrid and also scored in the 4-0 second leg victory against Milan in the Champions League.

Villa ended the season, as well as his Barcelona career, with sixteen goals in all competitions and agreed a switch to La Liga rivals Atlético Madrid. It is hard to find a Barcelona fan who doesn't respect Villa for all he has given to this club and many Cules will be sad to see El Guaje leave the Catalan club but with less and less game time a player such as Villa doesn't have the time to be waiting for his chance.

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