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Vilanova delighted with Villa return

Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova hailed David Villa as a player who "guarantees goals" after the striker made his long-awaited return to first-team action on Saturday night.

• Barcelona 2-0 Dinamo Bucharest
• Fabregas promises improvement

Villa, 30, had been out of action since breaking his leg in Barca's Club World Cup win against Al Sadd last December but made his comeback as a 73rd-minute substitute against Dinamo Bucharest.

And while the Catalans won the match 2-0 thanks to goals from Lionel Messi and Ibrahim Afellay, the return of Spain striker Villa was the biggest positive for Vilanova.

"Last year we missed him because he's a player that guarantees goals,'' Vilanova told the club's official website. "He's very important to the side.

"I spoke with the doctors and the physios before playing him against Dinamo. It is very important for us to recover players, especially if they are well-loved like Villa is.''

Ahead of his debut season as manager at Camp Nou, which begins with the first leg of the Spanish Supercopa against Real Madrid on August 23, Vilanova is happy with the way his side are performing.

"The team is playing at a good level ahead of the start of the league,'' he continued. "We have had a group of players that have trained for two solid weeks."


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