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Villa: I can replace Falcao

David Villa is confident that he has the ability to replace Radamel Falcao’s goals for Atletico Madrid.

The Spain international secured a €5.1million move to the Estadio Vicente Calderon after three years at Camp Nou, in which he netted 48 goals in 116 games.

Villa will wear the number nine shirt last worn by the Colombian before his staggering move to Monaco, but the 31-year-old is not fazed by filling Falcao’s boots.

“In theory, the conversations I’ve had with (manager Diego) Simeone have been about playing as a traditional striker,” he said.

“But I’ve already said that I’m here to play in a team that is already complete. I’m here to play in any position they need me to.

“At Barca I didn’t play as a traditional number nine, but I’m very proud of having been able to adapt to another position.

“I’m very happy; I have been since the signing was announced. Before that, even: I have been very happy since the club’s directors got in contact with my representatives and showed me the affection I wanted and needed.

“I can only say ‘thank you’ to everyone, to the people of the club and all the fans. They’ve let me feel the warmth of a great support. I promise that I’m going to give my all in every game and every training session. I want to achieve big things here.”

Villa has made 92 appearances for Spain and is the country’s record goalscorer with 56 strikes at international level.

And having seen a drop in playing time with Barca led some to question whether he should be in Vicente del Bosque’s plans, Villa is determined to do well for Atletico and force his way into thoughts for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

“I’ve been playing for Spain for a long time and of course I would like to play at the World Cup. But what I want is to help this winning team. I’ll work as hard as possible to do so.”

Mon 15 Jul, 2013
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