Report: Coming into the 2012-13 season David Villa's status was largely unknown, returning from a horrific tibia fracture that kept Villa off the pitch for eight months. The Spaniard appeared for the first time after the injury in the preseason, against Dinamo Bucharest. But even though Villa appeared ready for a larger role at the beginning of the season members of the Barcelona staff were adamant that the forward will be slowly eased back into game rhythm.
Four of Villa's first five appearances of the season were off the bench, and in the only start he came off eight minutes into the second half. But the lack of playing time didn't stop Villa from regularly featuring on the scoreboard as he scored three goals in that span. Villa's role started to increase after that, but the goalscoring didn't. Had it not been for five goals against Alavés and Cordoba CF in the Copa del Rey Villa's goalscoring record until January would've been rather pedestrian.
But Villa's performances gave fans hope that the Spaniard will be able to return to his pre-injury form. That, however, did not happen. Villa was in January stopped by a hamstring injury that not only sidelined him for three games, but more importantly stopped the string of positive performances by the forward.
Just a couple games after Villa returned from the injury he was hospitalized because of kidney stones. As a result of the procedure to remove the stones Villa missed two more games. After returning to the pitch, apart from a couple games, he wasn't the same player that was so deadly in front of the goal. In the last three months of the season Villa only scored five goals.
One of most surprising stats of the season has to be the fact that Villa had a nearly 50% conversion rate. That was the main reason so many advocated he should get more playing time, but the fact of the matter was that Villa took very few shots this season, a lot less than in previous years. Some of that can be attributed to the decrease in playing time, but such a decrease was expected mainly due to the fact that he just came back from a serious injury. But the fact that Villa didn't help out much in defense was another factor in this.
On international duty Villa continued to add to his record number of goals for Spain as he found the back of the net five times, bringing his total to 56 goals. In 10 appearances he also added two assists. The tibia fracture forced Villa to miss Spain's 2012 European Championship winning campaign, but in 2013 he returned to large competitions, helping Spain to finish the Confederations Cup in second place.
Moment of the season: Even though Villa's performances left much to be desired, especially in the second half of the season, the Andalusian put in many excellent performances for the Catalan side. Ironically, arguably Villa's best game came deep into the second half of the season, in March against Rayo Vallecano. Barcelona won the match 3-1 and Villa was directly involved in all three, scoring a goal and assisting on the remaining two.
Resumen de FC Barcelona (3-1) Rayo Vallecano - HD (via La Liga)
|Started on the Bench
|Shots on Goal
|BB Community Rating*||6.79|
*BB Community Rating represents the average rating (out of 10) Barca Blaugranes community members gave to the player for his performances throughout the season
Record with David Villa in the starting lineup: 21-3-2
2013-14 Outlook: The 31-year old will next season continue playing in the Spanish La Liga, but it will not be for the current league champions, FC Barcelona. Villa was transferred from the Catalan club to the nation's capital, to Atletico Madrid, for a maximum transfer fee of €5.1 million. Villa should get plenty of playing time at forward now that Radamel Falcao is no longer with the club, but expect him to get a fair share of game time at left wing as well.
Next Up: Cristian Tello