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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Football

Villa excited by Neymar's Barcelona arrival
AFP
Fortaleza, Brazil, June 23, 2013
First Published: 09:38 IST(23/6/2013)
Last Updated: 09:43 IST(23/6/2013)

Barcelona striker David Villa has predicted that Brazil sensation Neymar will "make us happy" when he links up with the Spanish super club later this year.

Neymar, 21, signed for Barca in a reported $75.3 million (57 million euros) deal earlier this month and he has thrilled at the Confederations Cup, scoring three stunning goals to fire the hosts into the semi-finals.

Although Neymar's arrival is likely to further curtail Villa's playing time at Camp Nou, the 31-year-old says he is excited about the prospect of joining forces with Brazil's boy wonder.

"He is one of the best players in the world right now," Villa said, during a press conference ahead of Spain's final Confederations Cup group game against Nigeria in Fortaleza on Sunday.

"We've waited a long time to get him and it's a great pleasure to welcome a player like that to play in your country. He will make us happy."

Villa also predicted that former Barca coach Pep Guardiola will prove a success when he succeeds Jupp Heynckes as manager of European club champions Bayern Munich next week.

Guardiola brought Villa to Barcelona from Valencia in 2010 and the pair tasted success in the league, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League before the former Spain midfielder stepped down from his post last year.

"He's a fabulous coach and you can tell that by the statistics since he started coaching," Villa said.

"He'll be coaching the European champions, with marvellous players. If you look at last season, you have a sensational team and a sensational coach, so they're going to be very difficult rivals for any team."


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