Barcelona striker David Villa faces long lay-off

Updated: 15 December 2011 20:05 IST

Barcelona striker David Villa is facing a long spell on the sidelines after he broke the tibia in his left leg during the team's 4-0 victory over Al-Sadd in the Club World Cup semifinals on Thursday.

Barcelona striker David Villa faces long lay-off

Yokohama:

Barcelona striker David Villa is facing a long spell on the sidelines after he broke the tibia in his left leg during the team's 4-0 victory over Al-Sadd in the Club World Cup semifinals on Thursday.

Villa was vying with two opposition defenders in the 37th minute when he landed awkwardly. The Spanish star immediately fell to the ground and called for help. He was carried off the pitch on a stretcher.

Barcelona said on its website that Villa had been taken to hospital for tests.

"Missing him in the team is going to be a blow," Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said. "I understand it is going to be a long time. We all love David. His personality is great. We all worry about him."

Villa is Spain's all-time leading scorer and helped the team with the 2008 European Championship and 2010 World Cup.

"We are going to miss Villa," Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara said. "We hope it isn't too bad. ... When you play you never think that these things can happen. It was bad luck."

Barcelona will play South American champion Santos in the Club World Cup final with the chance to lift their 13th trophy under Guardiola.

"This is very bad news on what was supposed to be a happy day moving on to a historic final," said Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who added that the team would dedicate the title to Villa if they win.

Villa scored 23 goals last season, his first with Barcelona. The 30-year-old Villa has seen his playing time diminish this season with the arrival of Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez, but he has still scored eight goals.

In June, Spain will seek to defend its their at the 2012 European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

The possible loss of Villa would leave Spain coach Vicente del Bosque with out-of-form Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente and Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo competing for places up front. In-form Valencia scorer Roberto Soldado would be Villa's likely replacement if he doesn't recover in time.

"There is a long way to go (until Euro 2012)," Thiago said.

Topics : Football Lionel Andres Messi Neymar Da Silva Santos Junior Barcelona Samuel Eto'o Fils Levski Sofia AC Milan
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