David Villa profile: 10 Things you need to know about the Manchester City target
Published 00:00 19/12/08 By By Dan Silver, Mirror.co.uk
David Villa attracted the interest of Tottenham this summer, and Manchester City also entered a bid for Valencia's striker.
The £32m-rated Spain star would cost the Eastlands outfit - but as this need-to-know guide demonstrates, he might turn out to be worth every penny.
1) David Villa Sanchez was born on 3 December 1981 in Langreo, a small town in the Asturias region of northern Spanish. His nickname is El Guaje, which is Castilian for The Kid, and he has a daughter, Zaida, with his wife Patricia.
2) His career was almost over before it had even started, when he suffered a severe fracture to his femur as a nine-year-old. Fortunately, an unusual non-invasive treatment led to a complete recovery, and David was signed up by Spanish second division side Sporting de Gijon.
3) After scoring 50 times in three years, he was signed by Real Zaragoza in 2003. Villa was an instant success, scoring 17 times in his first La Liga season - including a crucial goal against Real Madrid on the way to the team's Copa del Rey victory.
4) He moved to Valencia in 2005 for £8m and started paying back his transfer fee immediately, finishing the 2005/06 season just behind Barcelona's Samueal Eto'o in the La Liga scoring lists with 25 goals.
5) In that first season he scored one of the fastest hat-tricks in La Liga history, netting three times in five minutes against Athletic Bilbao on April 23, which you can see below:
6) Displaying impeccable timing, he also scored a hat-trick against Levante during his 100th game for Valencia.
7) His strike-rate is truly phenomenal. At Valencia David averages better than a goal every other game, and has an impressive 15 goals in 19 appearances so far this season. Throughout his career he has racked up 166 goals in 334 appearances for his clubs.
8) He'd be hard pushed to beat this stunning effort from the half-way line against Deportivo la Coruna, mind:
9) He made his debut for Spain in a 5-0 victory over San Marino on February 9th, 2005. He quickly ousted Spanish legend Raul from the senior squad and has gone on to win 41 caps, scoring 24 goals in the process, including this stunner in a friendly against Italy:
Clearly unfazed by the big stage, he's shone at the two major international tournaments he's so far been involved in. Alongside Fernando Torres, Villa was Spain's joint top scorer at the 2006 World Cup with three goals, and the tournament's top score at Euro 2008 with four. Sadly he missed the final after picking up an injury in the previous game against Russia.
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