Prolific Villa eyes berth in final

Striker close to Spanish record
Last Updated 04 July 2010, 16:11 IST

Villa became the tournament’s leading scorer with his fifth goal to crack the Paraguayan defence seven minutes from time. Spain will now play Germany in the last four in Durban on Wednesday. Villa said Spain are ready for Germany.

“We have time now to put the work in to get to the final and Germany will not be pleased that they have to play Spain,” Villa told reporters at Ellis Park. “The match against Paraguay was our most difficult so far and we know that when our opponent sits back and defends it is tough for us but we came through and the important thing is that the team is still alive,” he added.

It was the new Barcelona man’s 43rd goal in his 63rd international and puts him just one goal behind Raul’s 44 in 102 games as Spain’s all-time leading scorer.

“Finishing as the top scorer is the least of my concerns,” said Villa. “The important thing is that we get to the final, whether through me scoring or someone else. I’m happy to score the goals but I’m happier if the team wins.”

Villa, 28, has already become the top marksman for Spain in World Cup history with eight goals, leaving behind Spanish greats, Emilio Butragueno, Fernando Hierro, Fernando Morientes and Raul, who all netted five times.

He also has become one of the stars of this World Cup, scoring twice in Spain’s 2-0 win over Honduras, the opening goal in the 2-1 victory over Chile, and the winner against Portugal in the round-of-16 before his latest strike against Paraguay.

“These things do happen and it will happen again. But I am happy to see the team winning,” Villa said.  Andres Iniesta, whose weaving run through the Paraguay defence helped set up Villa's goal, said his Man of the Match award would not have been possible without the collective effort of the team.

“David (Villa) would say the same if he were sitting here,” the midfielder told a news conference. “The strength of this team is that everyone plays as a unit, we all know our job and that helps achieve our success.”

(Published 04 July 2010, 16:11 IST)

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