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23.05.2010 10:32

Villa: “I’m coming in the best form of my career”

Sandra Sarmiento

David Villa spoke to Barca TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat about his pride in joining the club and his hopes for this new stage in his career and told us: “I’m coming in the best form of my career”.

After Friday’s tremendous reception at the Nu Camp, Barca’s latest signing David Villa spoke exclusively to Barça TV i a www.fcbarcelona.cat and explained how surprised and grateful he at for the fans’ welcome”.

Did the reception you got on Friday come as a surprise? Was it more than you’d expected?
“Yes, completely. I knew there would be a lot of excitement from the fans, but I didn’t expect this much. I feel very proud and privileged. I really want to start and repay the fans for the welcome they’ve given me. I was also really impressed with the home team changing rooms. I’d never been there before, they are really something”.

Do you consider yourself a media star after what happened on Friday?
“I’m just a footballer and I’ve always said that being some kind of media star isn’t one of my objectives, but after all that happened on Friday……..well I don’t know now! I really just feel very proud”.

What excited you most about signing for Barca?
2010-05-21_VILLA_BARCxA_TV_08.JPG“A little bit of everything. Over the last few years Barca has become known as the best club in the world, playing the best football and to be able to share a changing room with some of the great names that are here is a real source of pride. That’s not something I’m just saying now – it’s something I’ve always felt”.

You’ve come here at the age of 28. Do you think you’re at the ideal moment in your career to play at the Nou Camp?
“Well, the experts say that this is the ideal age for a footballer. I think I’m coming here in the best form of my career and I hope to play here for many years and achieve a lot of success”.

You’ve mentioned that Barca have been interested in you for a while now - how has that interest been communicated to you?
“The best thing has been the way in which they have demonstrated their interest, showing respect and letting me know that they wanted to sign me. That’s been one of the reasons I decided to sign for Barca. Over the last few weeks my international teammates here – especially Xavi and Puyol -have been texting me with messages of support and offering to help in any way they can with moving here”.

You won a Spanish Cup with Valencia, but your chances of winning more titles are greater here at Barca. Is winning the Champions League something that excites you, or as Mourinho would have it, obsesses you?
2010-05-21_VILLA_BARCxA_TV_20.JPG“It’s a very exciting prospect to win the Champions League for me because I’ve never been so close to achieving it as I am now. I guess it is an obsession too, because a team like Barca has to always be up there with the best in Europe”.

Settling in will probably start in South Africa for you, with so many Barca players in the Spanish squad and with Del Bosque opting for a “Barca” style of play.
“I’ve got a great relationship with the Barca players who are in the Spanish squad and I also know a number of them as friends outside the game. That’s going to help me settle in and yes, because Xavi pulls the strings in the Spain team, I guess we do play like Barca”

You were an automatic starter at Valencia, here you’ll be competing with Ibrahimovic, Bojan, Messi or Pedro. Does competition like that motivate you?
“Yes, a lot. Competition helps you improve and become a better player. I knew what club I was coming to and I’m well aware of the quality there is here. I’m going to do my utmost to play, though I know it won’t be easy as only the best play here”.

Do you feel just as comfortable out wide as when you are an out an out striker?
“My natural position is centre forward, but I’ve played out wide on both wings and I can adapt my game to the team’s needs. I think players are born with a specific skill, but we can always improve and add to that, which is my objective”.

You are the 11th Asturian player to sign for the club. How does it feel to follow in the footsteps of players like Luis Enrique or Quini?
2010-05-21_VILLA_BARCxA_TV_23.JPG“They were both heroes of mine and a reference for me. I’m so proud to come to a club where they both achieved so much and were so admired. It’s great to be compared to Quini, who helped me when I was starting out in the game as a seventeen-year-old”.

Have you spoken to them about your move?
“I spoke to Luis Enrique when we had lunch on Friday after my presentation. He said he was very happy and he was sure I’d enjoy it here. I thanked him and wished his team well in the play offs with Barça Atlètic. I haven’t spoken to Quini yet, but I’ll be in touch soon as we are very close – I’m sure he’ll be happy for me”.

Is playing under Pep Guardiola a special motivation?
Yes, very much so. I’ve spoken with him and he told me how keen he was to see me playing for his team. My international team mates have spoken really well of him to me and they all reckon they’ve improved under him and that he makes you enjoy playing the game”.

Finally, you played at Mestalla, where the fans were very demanding. The Barca fans are just as demanding - do you think that’s important if a team are to be a success?
“It’s good that the fans demand so much - I’ve always enjoyed being challenged and if the fans demand more it’s because they can see that you actually have the ability to improve”.

Villa: “I’m coming in the best form of my career”

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"I’m certain the Sporting fans will now be just a little bit more in favour of Barca"
They say that a striker remembers every goal: you’ve scored so many, can you still remember them all?
“Well, maybe not every one, but I certainly remember what I think was my best. It was ay Deportivo and I scored from the middle of the pitch. I’ll never forget it!.

Will Sporting fans be even more behind Barca now?
“I’m sure they will. When I was at Valencia, they applauded my goals at El Molinon. With players like Luis Enrique, Quinio and others from Asturias having played here, I’m certain the Sporting fans will now be just a little bit more in favour of Barca”.

Before you were a professional, you worked installing air conditioning units, didn’t you?
“Yes, when I was 17 at Sporting, I studied that and I was quite good. At it. Fortunately, football has always treated me well and I’ve never had to take it up!”

What’s your home town of Tuilla like?
“It’s a beautiful place – a typical Asturian town. It’s in a closed valley, which is very green and when I go there I can switch off - people treat me as if I’d never left”.

How did you explain to your eldest daughter Zaida, that you’d signed for Barca?
“I think telling her was maybe the hardest thing. She’s a real Valencia fan. She didn’t understand too well, but when I told her I’d be with Xavi and Puyol in Barcelona and a fan gave us a little dog with a Barca shirt, well, she seemed to be happy with that!”.

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