Previous
Dinamo Moscow
PSV Eindhoven
ESPN3 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Krasnodar
Everton
ESPN3 4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Standard Liege
ESPN3 5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rijeka
Sevilla FC
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
VfL Wolfsburg
Lille
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Slovan Bratislava
Napoli
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sparta Prague
BSC Young Boys
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
AaB
Rio Ave
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dynamo Kiev
Steaua Bucuresti
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dinamo Minsk
Fiorentina
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Guingamp
PAOK Salonika
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
KSC Lokeren
Metalist Kharkiv
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Trabzonspor
Legia Warsaw
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Zürich
Borussia Monchengladbach
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Villarreal
Apollon Limassol
ESPN3 7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
HJK Helsinki
Club Brugge
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Torino
FC Copenhagen
ESPN3 7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Asteras Tripoli
Partizan Belgrade
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
Besiktas
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Celtic
Dinamo Zagreb
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
FK Astra Giurgiu
SV Salzburg
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Estoril
Panathinaikos
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Internazionale
FK Qarabag
ESPN3 7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
St Etienne
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
7:05 PM GMT
Game Details
Philadelphia Union
Chicago Fire
ESPN2 12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Toluca
Guadalajara
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Douglas Haig
Argentinos Juniors
10:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Ferro Carril Oeste
San Martín de San Juan
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Palmeiras
Chapecoense AF
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Cienciano del Cusco
San Martin
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport Huancayo
Juan Aurich
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
UTC
Melgar
8:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Alianza Lima
San Simón
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Rubio Ñú
12 de Octubre
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cerro Porteño
Sol de América
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bolívar
Universitario de Pando
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nacional Potosí
Real Potosí
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Universitario de Sucre
Sport Boys Warnes
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Blooming
Wilstermann
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Deportes Quindío
Independiente Santa Fe
12:30 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Atlético Nacional
Deportes Tolima
12:45 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Next
 Posted by Dermot Corrigan
Dec 13, 2013

David Villa: Barca blocked Arsenal move

Atletico Madrid striker David Villa has confirmed that Barcelona stopped him moving to Arsenal in January.

Mangan: Nothing to fear for Arsenal

Widespread reports during the winter transfer window suggested that the Premier League side had bid 12 million pounds for Villa, 32, and that the player himself was open to the move as he was not getting regular games at the Camp Nou.

However, the transfer failed to materialise and in the summer the Spain international instead joined Atletico in a surprise deal worth only 2.1 million euros up front.

La Roja’s all-time record goalscorer told Canal Plus show Espacio Reservado that he had been very tempted by the chance to join the Gunners, but Barca would not let him go at the time.

“I was not playing so I let the club know that the best would be to leave,” Villa said. “There was an important offer from an English club. You all know that it was Arsenal. The offer was very good for the club, very good for me. But they did not think it was right for me to leave at that moment, they needed me.”

Villa said that Barca had asked him not to move to the Emirates Stadium, and in exchange they made it easier for him to join Atletico once the season had ended.

“You must not regret the decisions which you take,” he said. “In this case Barca always showed me a lot of affection, and promised me they would help me leave in the summer. And they did that, so I can only be happy with that.”

Villa scored on his first home game for Atletico -- against Barca in the Spanish Supercopa -- but he admits it took him a while to learn what was expected of him within Diego Simeone’s organised Colchoneros side.

“I am very happy, above all because the goals and performances have helped the team achieve its objectives,” Villa said. “In the end I think more about the collective than the individual. This team was already made -- coming from some years playing really well, battling together and winning important things. As time passed, bit by bit, I have felt better inside the system.”  

Atletico are now joint top of the Primera Division standings with Barca, and sailed through their Champions League group as winners.

Villa put such success down to Simeone having the motivational skills of former Spain boss Luis Aragones and the tactical expertise of ex-Blaugrana coach Pep Guardiola.

“[Simeone] mixes things from different coaches, he is similar to Luis with the way he motivates you with his prematch talks, and also to Guardiola,” he said. “Whenever you go out onto the pitch you know really well what you have to do, because he has worked with you during the week and has transmitted it -- both to individuals and to the collective.” 

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.