Vilanova: Villa guarantees goals

The Barcelona coach has welcomed the return of the striker and is confident he will play a crucial role in leading the club to success this season
New Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova hailed David Villa's return to full fitness, following the Spain international's comeback from a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The 30-year-old fractured his tibia playing for the Blaugrana against Al Sadd in last season's Club World Cup, forcing him to remain sidelined for the past eight months and subsequently ruling him out of Euro 2012.

Watching Villa make his return to the side in the 73rd minute of Barcelona's 2-0 win over Dinamo Bucharest, Vilanova was quick to herald the former Valencia player's talents, as the team prepares for the campaign ahead.

“Last year we missed him [Villa] because he’s a player that guarantees goals. He’s very necessary to the side,” he told the club's official website.

"I spoke with the doctors and the physios before playing him against Dinamo. It is very important for us to recover players, especially if they are well-loved like Villa is."

The Catalan giants triumphed thanks to goals from Lionel Messi and Ibrahim Afellay, and Vilanova has been left enthused by what he has observed in pre-season.

"The team is playing at a good level ahead of the start of the league. We have had a group of players that have trained for two solid weeks.

"When the players come back from international duty we willl make a decision on who will play in the league based on how they are feeling. [Vicente] Del Bosque picks the players that he wants and we don’t have anything to say on the matter."

Barcelona open their Primera Division campaign against Real Sociedad on August 20th, as they attempt to wrest the La Liga crown back from arch-rivals Real Madrid in the new term.