Spanish Super Cup 2013: Atletico Madrid's David Villa Will Hurt Barcelona

Joe StrangeContributor IAugust 20, 2013

SEVILLE, SPAIN - AUGUST 18:  David Villa (R) of Club Atletico de Madrid shoots past Cicinho of Sevilla FC during the La Liga match between Sevilla FC and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on August 18, 2013 in Seville, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Wednesday evening sees the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid take place at the Vicente Calderon.

The annual two-legged fixture pits La Liga champions Barca against Diego Simeone's side, who are the current holders of the Copa del Rey.

The Nou Camp will host the return leg next week, but the first game gives Atletico home advantage and a chance to secure a positive result heading into the daunting trip to Catalonia.

One player who will perhaps be more determined than any to beat Barcelona is David Villa.

The striker spent three seasons with Barca before moving to Madrid for around £4.5 million earlier this summer, despite interest from Premier League side Tottenham.

According to Alex Moretto of, via Yahoo! Sports, Villa told reporters:

I have many friends and fond memories of my three years there. But when we start the game, they are my rivals.

Hopefully I can help my team. I have always celebrated my goals. Out of respect, however, the exuberance of the celebration is different if you face an opponent that you love.

The 31-year-old endured mixed fortunes for the Catalan giants after arriving from Valencia for a fee believed to be €40 million in the summer of 2010.

In his first season, the attacker known as "El Guaje" (The Kid) quickly worked his way into Pep Guardiola's side, cementing his place alongside Lionel Messi and Pedro in an exciting front three.

He managed 27 goals in all competitions that season, including Barcelona's third goal in their 3-1 Champions League final victory over Manchester United at Wembley.

If Villa's first season at the Nou Camp was a dream, then his second was a nightmare.

The Spanish forward started the campaign well enough, starring in his side's impressive 8-0 league win over Osasuna in mid-September and contributing goals as Barca battled with rivals Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

But, during his side's 4-0 Club World Cup victory over Al Sadd in Yokohama, Japan, in December 2011, Villa fractured his left tibia. He would be out of action for eight months, missing the rest of the domestic season and Spain's success at the 2012 European Championships.

After returning from injury in August of last year, Villa struggled to command a regular place in Tito Vilanova's side. 

The former Sporting Gijon star still managed to bag 10 league goals in just 17 starts, but with Brazilian wonderkid Neymar arriving in a big-money deal from Santos earlier this summer, the writing was on the wall for a player who became increasingly familiar with the substitutes' bench last season.

Villa's key stats from last season—10 goals and five assists in 17 starts, 66 percent shot accuracy and 83 percent pass accuracy—all indicate that he still had more to give to a club who battled for his signature just three years ago.

Their decision to allow him to leave is the perfect motivation for Villa ahead of Wednesday's clash, with the striker certain to be keen on proving a point to new manager Gerardo Martino and those who ushered him out of the back door.

Atletico started their league campaign with an eye-catching 3-1 win away at Sevilla last weekend, and although Villa failed to get on the scoresheet, his partnership with former Liverpool target Diego Costa showed signs of promise.

The 31-year-old may have lost a yard of pace during his injury hell, but he still possesses the skill and eye-for-goal to hurt the side he still loves.

Player stats courtesy of Squawka.