Barcelona has finally parted ways with one of their most famous footballers in David Villa, but the Catalan giants won't regress from the move with a core of world-class players still intact.
The deal is set to bring Barça a maximum of 5.1 million Euros, with 2.1 due this season, 2 more if Villa stays at Atletico next year and another million should he be at the Madrid club the season after. Barça also reserve the right to 50% of any sell on fee in the future.
The 31-year-old has been with Barcelona since 2010, when he signed over from Valencia about a month before the 2010 World Cup.
It was there, on the international stage, that he became a household name in world football after scoring five goals in the World Cup and playing a huge role in helping Spain become world champions. That got him supreme fame with the club that is so deeply rooted with Spanish footballers.
According to Barcelona's release, Villa made 119 appearances for La Blaugrana and scored 48 goals in the process. All but 15 of those goals came in La Liga, where he had success helping Barca put up gaudy offensive numbers.
However, injuries shortened the last part of Villa's tenure with the club. After breaking his tibia, he missed the entire 2011-12 season as well as Spain's win at Euro 2012.
Villa was never given a real chance to be a full-time starter after recovering from his injury; he took about eight months to return to the pitch and even longer to get back to 100 percent. He primarily came off the bench in his final few dozen appearances with the club.
Now that Barcelona have acquired Neymar in possibly the biggest transfer move of the offseason, the club's offense is pretty stacked alongside Pedro, Alexis Sanchez and yes, even Lionel Messi.
Villa's ability to come off the bench and immediately integrate some lengthy experience was a nice addition for Barcelona, but it's far from needed now that they have a deep core of attacking wingers.
Barcelona's offensive future is led by Messi, with speedsters like Neymar and Pedro surrounding him and creative cogs like Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta and Xavi feeding them from the midfield.
Villa made the right move for himself by staying in Spain and moving to a team where he might be able to get first-team striker minutes. After all, he had his most success with Valencia in which he scored 108 goals in 166 appearances from 2005-10.
David Villa is a world-class striker, but much more so for Spain's international team than Barcelona. He's capable, they just have never truly needed him there.
While Villa has had his fair share of epic moments while with Barca, he's better suited in a system where he can stand out more. That's certainly not in Barcelona.
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