MADRID: Barcelona have moved swiftly to reinforce their squad, snapping up Spain striker David Villa from Valencia for €40 million ($49.7 million) on Wednesday, three days after winning a second consecutive La Liga title.
The prized Spain striker scored 21 league goals last season to finish his fifth consecutive campaign as the club’s top scorer and is set to bring the same form to the Catalans in a four-year deal with a one-year extension option. “There was a big offer from England, that was not from Chelsea, but Barcelona’s was the best for us,” said Valencia President Manuel Llorente.
The 28-year-old is Spain’s second-highest scorer with 36 goals from 55 matches, eight short of the record held by Real Madrid striker Raul, and he will be spearheading Spain’s World Cup campaign in South Africa next month. Nicknamed “el guaje” (the kid), Villa will join a formidable Barca forward line that already includes La Liga’s leading marksman and Ballon D’Or Lionel Messi, Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and France striker Thierry Henry who is expected to move on.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 20th, 2010.