David Villa: I'll make news on the pitch

POTCHEFSTROOM - David Villa already has a fearsome scoring record for Spain but, in an ominous sign for their opponents in South Africa, says he's more focused than ever after sealing a dream move to Barcelona.

Nicknamed "el guaje", or "the kid" in his native Asturian, the 28-year-old has netted 38 goals in 58 appearances for the European champions and is fast closing in on Real Madrid striker Raul's scoring record of 44 in 102.

Spanish champions Barca snapped Villa up from Valencia for 40 million euros last month and on Monday he told a news conference at Spain's training base in Potchefstroom that the deal's swift conclusion had allowed him to turn his mind fully to the World Cup.

"It was vital for me (to resolve my future)," Villa said, adding that speculation over a possible move away from Valencia following the end of the 2008/09 campaign had been an unwelcome distraction.

"I am calm, in a way I was not last year, and this time around I'll be making news for what I do in training or in the matches and not for what is happening somewhere else."

Villa was top scorer at Euro 2008 with four goals, despite missing most of the semi-final and the final victory over Germany through injury.

He is pacy, makes intelligent runs across the frontline and is lethal from deadball situations. Comfortable on either foot, he can drop deep or pull into wide positions when playing with strike partner Fernando Torres while the physically more imposing Liverpool forward takes on the centre-backs.

FINAL BALL

Coach Vicente del Bosque has often used Villa in a lone striker role and Torres's knee surgery means more of the goalscoring onus may fall on the Asturian at the finals.

"It would be great to be top scorer here because that would mean a lot of goals for the team," Villa said ahead of Spain's final training session in Potchefstroom before they fly to Durban for Wednesday's Group H opener against Switzerland.

"I have to work for the team but with the quality we have in playing the final ball I could do it."

Villa, who will be playing with new Barca team mates including Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol in South Africa, has looked sharp and hungry in training after netting 21 league goals for Valencia last season.

On current evidence, he could well be challenging the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney for the coveted World Cup top scorer gong.

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