Barcelona news

Villa plays down speculation

March 21, 2013
By Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

David Villa says he is just enjoying being back in goalscoring form at the moment, and not thinking about what the future might hold.

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Villa has been heavily linked with a move away from Barcelona in recent months, with Arsenal and Juventus among his many suitors, amid reports he had become disillusioned with a lack of regular opportunities at the Camp Nou as he slowly recovered from a broken leg sustained in December 2011.

He told reporters after national team training on Thursday that he had been smiling more recently, having started Barca's most recent four games in all competitions, scoring their crucial third goal in last week's 4-0 Champions League win over AC Milan.

"I have been able to play four games from the start, the team has had some important wins and I feel happy," Villa said. "Happy to help, and that the coaches have confidence in me."

Asked whether the upturn in fortunes meant he was more likely to extend his current Barcelona contract, which ends in June 2014, Villa said his position had not changed while he had been injured.

"I think the same about that as before the injury," he said. "I just think about the present, the near future and to end this season well. There have been many up and downs, above all in the first half. I want to end it as well as possible, both on a personal level and for the club."

Recent months had been frustrating as further niggling injury problems kept interrupting his recovery, Villa admitted.

"I have had various other little problems, different than the tibia injury, which have stopped me from being at 100%," he said.

The Asturian, 32, came through the youth ranks at Sporting Gijon, making his senior debut in 2001 and scoring 41 goals in 84 Segunda Division games before moving up to join Primera side Real Zaragoza in summer of 2003, and subsequently signing for Valencia and Barcelona.

Spain's record goalscorer has not played a competitive game for his country La Roja's final Euro 2012 qualifier in Scotland in October 2011, but is now line to return to El Molinon as a home player in Friday's World Cup qualifier against Finland.

"It is a dream I have had for a long time coming true," Villa said. "Since I left Sporting, I dreamed of returning as a home player, not as a visitor. Everyone knows I really wanted to come back. When I returned with another jersey it was like robbing your own house."