The inspirational comeback story of FC Barcelona striker David Villa continued on Saturday, as Barca maintained its unblemished record in La Liga with a 4-1 victory over Getafe. It was a revenge match of sorts, as Getafe had defeated Barca the last time the two clubs squared off, but Lionel Messi once again led the way and set up Villa for a goal around the 90' mark to ice the runaway win.
Sometimes footballers are criticized for being removed from the field on stretchers, but unfortunately in Villa's case last December, the injury he sustained stemmed far from an exaggerated dive. He actually suffered a fractured tibia in a FIFA Club World Cup match against Al-Sadd, charging into the box and landing awkwardly after a collision with a defender. Video from ESPN Soccernet can be seen here.
Villa's impact was felt almost immediately in his return last month, as the 30-year-old star has notched two goals in his first three appearances.
Barca had a wonderful season last year even without the hero of the 2008 UEFA Euro and 2010 World Cup hero, and in the latter event, Sports Illustrated insider Sid Lowe argued that Villa could be considered the greatest striker in the world. He noted that his rate of goals per match bested the World Cup's all-time greatest player, Brazil's Ronaldo.
That's pretty elite company. As Villa slowly inches his way back into the lineup, he can take solace in the fact that he will likely form the best one-two offensive punch in the football universe with another all-time great in Messi.
Tito Vilanova had both superstars coming off the bench against Getafe, which shows how deep the team is and how poised they are to win La Liga over defending champs Real Madrid.
Cristiano Ronaldo has expressed frustration recently over his situation with the club, while Barcelona seems to have the highest powered offense in the league. They lead Ronaldo's club by eight points in the standings and are scoring an astounding three goals per game.
It will be exciting to see how Villa's role expands as the season progresses, but it looks like he's on his way to returning to world-class form for Barca.