x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Villa hails support after dream comeback for Barcelona

The Spain striker scored the final goal in a 5-1 defeat of Real Sociedad to make his first competitive appearance in a Barcelona shirt since the end of last year

David Villa celebrates his goal against Real Sociedad with his Barcelona teammates
David Villa celebrates his goal against Real Sociedad with his Barcelona teammates

Barcelona forward David Villa has paid tribute to his teammates after making his long-awaited return to action for the Catalan side.

The Spain striker replaced Pedro in the 75th minute of the match against Real Sociedad last night for his first competitive appearance since breaking his leg at the end of last year.

It took less than ten minutes for Villa to find his scoring touch as he scored the fifth in a 5-1 rout at the Nou Camp.

"You're fortunate when so many people help you, it's difficult to thank them all," he told Sport newspaper.

"I want to extend my gratitude to everyone, without them I would not have managed it."

The 30-year-old missed out on his country's successful defence of the European Championship trophy after spending eight months sidelined through injury.

"I'm happy with how the day went, I've taken a very important step forward, it was an intensive 20 minutes. Now I need to continue training," he said.

"I've spent a lot of time working and I still need to continue working, and enjoying it like I did today. Let's hope it continues like that."

Barcelona, meanwhile, were today looking to complete the 19 million euros (Dh86m) signing of Arsenal midfielder Alex Song.

The 24-year-old Cameroon international was undertaking his medical with the Primera Division outfit this morning and, if all goes to plan, he will put pen to paper on a five-year contract with Barca.

New Barca coach Tito Vilanova, who made his competitive debut in the Nou Camp hotseat last night after replacing Pep Guardiola this summer, said of Song: "He's a player that gives us a bit of height. He'll surprise us with his skill, he's a great player."