Atletico swoop to sign David Villa

Updated: 2013-07-09 16:15


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Atletico swoop to sign David Villa

Barcelona's David Villa tries to control the ball against Real Betis during their Spanish First Division soccer match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, May 5, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

MADRID - Atletico Madrid have pulled off one of the surprise transfers of the summer with the news that Spain international striker David Villa has joined the club on a three-year-deal from FC Barcelona.

The news was confirmed on Barca's official website, which said Atletico Madrid will pay them a maximum of 5.1 million Euros, spread over the next three years. Barcelona will also get 50 percent of any future transfer fee.

The news brings Villa's three years with Barcelona to an end. The Spain international striker joined Barcelona from Valencia in the summer of 2010 and has made 119 appearances for the club; a figure that no doubt would have been higher had he not badly broken his leg in the 2011 World Club Championships.

The 31-year-old scored a total of 48 goals for Barca, 33 in the BBVA Primera Liga, 8 in the Champions League, 6 in the Spanish Cup and 1 in the Supercup.

He is currently the highest ever goalscorer for the Spanish national team with a total of 56 goals in 92 appearances for the reigning World and European Champions. 

Villa will replace Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, who left Atletico for Monaco in a deal rumored to be worth 60 million euros at the end of last season and as such looks as if he could be a bargain.

However, the striker did struggle to find his best form as Barca won last season's league title, scoring 10 goals in 27 appearances and raising doubts over whether the broken leg has taken the edge off his game and Barca's decision to sign Brazilian ace Neymar has left him with few options of first team football next season.

One of Villa's first games for his new club will be against Barcelona as the league champions meet cup winners Atletico in August for the Spanish Supercup.