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Then And Now

Can Villa Still Shine For Spain?

In this week’s Then and Now feature Soccer Laduma compares the performances of David Villa at the 2010 World Cup to what we can expect of him in Brazil.

The Spanish striker has scored his five goals at the tournament in South Africa, helping his country to win its first ever World Cup title.

Villa entered the 2010 World Cup in brilliant form, scoring 27 goals in all competitions for Valencia. In fact, in 2009 he scored more goals than any other footballer (43 in 54 games in all competitions for Spain and Valencia).

His fire-power awarded him a four-year contract with FC Barcelona, which paid €40m (R 570 million) for his services and announced the deal before the World Cup.

Following the shock defeat in the first game against Switzerland, Villa scored both goals in Spain’s second game against Honduras.

Villa then helped Spain to secure its place in the last-16 by scoring in the 2-1 victory over Chile. His long-range shot into an empty goal was his sixth goal in World Cup matches and made him Spain’s top scorer at World Cups.

In the last-16 against Portugal and in the quarter-final against Paraguay, Villa scored his country’s only goals to secure two 1-0 victories.

In the semi-final, Spain secured another 1-0 against Germany through a goal by Carles Puyol without Villa scoring. He played again until the 106th minute in the final against the Netherlands but wasn’t able to add another goal.

However, his performances throughout the tournament and his five goals earned him the Silver Shoe, with the Golden Shoe going to Thomas Mueller (who also had scored five goals but more assists). In addition he was named in the Team of Tournament.

Due to injury Villa wasn’t in Spain’s 2012 EURO squad but returned for the 2013 Confederations Cup where he scored three goals.

After three successful seasons at Camp Nou he joined Atletico Madrid at the beginning of the season and his 13 goals have helped them winning the La Liga title as well as reaching the Champions League final.

He was the first Spanish player to ever reach 50 international goals – currently standing at 56 goals in 94 caps – and is Spain’s all-time top goal-scorer.

Villa’s experience is likely to earn him a spot in Vicente del Bosque’s 23-man World Cup squad. He might not be a permanent starter, but will surely prove to be a goal-scoring threat in Brazil.

Do you think David Villa has still have what it takes to shine in Brazil? Have your say in the comment section below.

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