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Roura: No problem with Messi, Villa

Barcelona caretaker coach Jordi Roura has dismissed claims of a rift between star forwards Lionel Messi and David Villa.

The pair combined for each of Barca’s goals in their 3-1 triumph over Rayo Vallecano at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Messi teed-up Villa for the opener, before Villa reciprocated for Messi’s brace as Barca cruised to a victory that restored their 13-point lead at the top of La Liga.

There have been stories of a fractious relationship between the pair, with a couple of public spats fuelling rumours of discontent.

But Roura has scoffed at suggestion the players do not get on and insisted their partnership will be crucial as Barca bid for another Champions League title.

“I have heard about this a lot recently but it’s nothing serious,” Roura said.

“This is football. The friendship between David Villa and Lionel Messi is fine and it’s as good as it used to be. I don’t even think it’s something that should be questioned.

“Yes, without doubt the pair of them can play together.

“Villa is playing in a more central position and he is a massive forward for us because he can score goals easily.

“He can fit in with Messi because he sees the space on the pitch. For us it’s benefical that they can play so well together.”

Mon 18 March, 2013
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