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Club WC: Villa injury mars Barca's semi-final triumph

Barca camp sad about losing Villa to long term injury, suffered during 4-0 thrashing of Al-Sadd in semi-final

Barcelona striker David Villa faces at least six months out of the game after fracturing his left shin in the first-half of the European champions' Club World Cup semi-final Thursday. Villa, 30, who has been the subject of speculation linking him with a move away from the Spanish giants, appeared not to be seriously hurt when he went off on a stretcher on 39 minutes in the clash in Japan against Al-Sadd.


Heroes: Barcelona players celebrate a goal.

But Barcelona later confirmed on its official website: "Bad news for David Villa and Barca, the striker's left tibia is fractured." Coach Pep Guardiola said: "He broke his bone so he will be returning to Barcelona as soon as possible. It will take some time to return to the team. I'm very sad to say this. It's very unfortunate.


Barca ace David Villa (centre) is carried off the pitch after suffering an
injury. Pics/AFP


I was talking to the other players in the changing room and saying that to recover from a broken bone takes time. "He's going back to Spain to have an operation. Missing him is a blow to our team. We are very sad and hope that he will recover as quickly as possible."

Asked by AFP if the injury would mean he would be looking to sign a replacement in the winter transfer window, Guardiola said: "It's not the time to talk about that. It doesn't show respect for him." Barcelona signed the international striker, who appeared to sustain the injury when he landed awkwardly and could now miss the European Championships next year, from Valencia for $40 million in 2010.

Javier Mascherano, who suffered a minor injury in the easy 4-0 victory over Al Sadd to secure a place in the final against Brazilian club Santos, said: "Villa is injured and obviously we are sad for him. "We want to give all the support to him."

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