FC Barcelona new signing David Villa star of the show as Spain go through to last 16

FC Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola knew that by signing David Villa, the team would have a guarantee when it comes to scoring goals. The World Cup in South Africa is not proving them wrong.

Christopher Tulloch

June 27, 2010 05:29 PM

Barcelona (CNA).- As the first half of the Fifa World Cup comes to a close in South Africa, the vast majority of the FC Barcelona starting line-up is still in action. Rafael Márquez, playing the best international football of his career, has led Mexico through to a tough draw against Argentina where he will have to defend against the world’s best player and Barça teammate, Lionel Messi. Barça right-back Dani Alves, enjoying more playing time as the tournament goes on, is safely through with the Brazilian national team to face Chile in the next round.
After a disastrous 0-1 defeat to Switzerland, Spain is through to the last 16 to face neighbours Portugal in what looks like being the tie of the round. Midweek wins over Honduras (2-0) and Chile (2-1) have seen Del Bosque’s side through a difficult week. With the return from injury of Barça midfielder Andres Iniesta, the Spanish side has no less than six Barça players in its starting line up thanks to the presence of Puyol and Pique at the back, Xavi, Busquets and Iniesta in midfield and lethal striker David Villa up front. Villa and Iniesta have scored all of Spain’s goals so far.

Not all Barça players have had similar success stories to tell though. Thierry Henry and Eric Abidal are back in France now to face the heat after failing to beat Uruguay, Mexico and hosts South Africa in the group stage. The controversies and internal bickering within the French camp led to President Sarkozy’s demand for a personal explanation from the Barça veteran striker.