Villa completes Barcelona move
The 28-year-old put pen to paper on his deal, which has an option for a further 12 months and a buyout clause of €200 million, after coming through his medical with flying colours. The two clubs agreed a fee of €40 million for the player on Wednesday and a statement on club website fcbarcelona.cat today confirmed: "David Villa is now officially the first signing for 2010/11. He signed the contract that will keep him at the club for the next four seasons with an option for another."
Villa, top scorer in Spain's triumphant UEFA EURO 2008 campaign, is now relishing the challenge that lies ahead. "I'm very happy and proud to be here," he told club website fcbarcelona.cat. "Anybody would be happy to come to a club like this - as everybody says, this is the best team in the world."
Villa scored 107 goals in 166 league matches for Valencia after establishing himself with Real Zaragoza, and is hoping goals will continue to fly in his new club. "It's always hard to score goals, but when you have players like Xavi, (Lionel) Messi, (Sergio) Busquets, (Seydou) Keita or Pedro (Rodriguez) around you, it's bound to be a little easier for a striker," he said. Asked what he will bring to the team, Villa replied: "Hard work, humility and a desire to try to help the team be a little better. I'm really keen to get started here."
The move brings to an end a successful five-year stint with Los Che which has seen the player develop into one of the most feared forwards in Europe and become a regular in the Spain team. He admitted on Wednesday, however, that he would be leaving the Mestalla with a heavy heart.
"I get a lot of feelings, leaving many friends, but knowing that it is good for the club," he said in an open letter. "At Valencia I have grown as a player and as a person. At Valencia I have felt at home from day one and nobody will doubt it to be that way forever. I want everyone to know that it has been a great source of pride for me to wear this shirt. It has given me so much and I will always carry it in my heart."
Villa helped Valencia win the 2008 Copa del Rey and moves on having fired the club to a third-place finish in La Liga in 2009/10 to return the club to the UEFA Champions League. "I leave with the satisfaction that the club has returned to where it deserves to be every year - fighting among the best in Europe in the Champions League," he added.