David Villa is the best striker at Euro 2008

June 16, 2008

David Villa scores the winner against Sweden

When the Spain squad for Euro 2008 was announced all the talk in the Madrid media was about the absence of “El siete de España” — Raul. Luis Aragones, they said, would regret leaving out the former national team captain and all-time top scorer.

But David Villa has made light of the supposed burden of inheriting the number seven shirt and laid the debate to rest in the space of four days with his hat-trick against Russia and superb stoppage time winner against Sweden.

The chants from Spain fans calling for the return of Raul have faded away and been replaced by a chorus of “Villa maravilla“.

Born in the Asturian town of Tuilla, “El Guaje” (“the kid” in the Asturian language Bable) is the son of coal miner, but instead of following the family tradition and heading down the pits he decided to try his luck at football.

Spain must be thanking their lucky stars that he made that career choice for Villa has become a synonym for goalscoring since breaking into the Spanish national side.

His winner against Sweden brought his tally to 18 in just 33 games, a far better strike rate than either Fernando Torres or Raul who scored 44 in 102 appearances for the national side.

Speedy, streetwise, skilful and razor sharp, Villa has all the characteristics of a great striker. Although he faces some stiff competition from Torres, Lukas Podolski, Luca Toni, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, for me Villa is and will be the best striker here at Euro 2008.

Real Madrid are apparently intent on signing Cristiano Ronaldo to spice up their attack, but if I were the Spanish giants I would be looking a bit nearer home and preparing a bid for a product from Asturias. On the other hand if United are forced to sell Ronaldo I’m sure the disappointment of their fans would quickly evaporate if they bought Villa with the profits.

PHOTO: Spain’s David Villa scores against Sweden in their Group D Euro 2008 match in Innsbruck, June 14, 2008. REUTERS/Miro Kuzmanovic


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[…] Reuters Soccer Blog – Reuters BlogsWhen the Spain squad for Euro 2008 was announced all the talk in the Madrid media was about the absence of El siete de Espa a Raul. Luis Aragones, they said, would regret leaving out the former national team captain and all-time top scorer […]

Posted by Online Threats – Blog: Tigers 9-0 when Thames homers – Detroit Free Press · Online Threats @ Onlinemonthly.net | Report as abusive

Seems a bit premature to call someone the best striker at Euro2008 after just two matches. I think I’ll wait another match or two before casting my ballot.

Posted by Erik Kirschbaum | Report as abusive

I admire Villa’s scoring record at international level, however I feel that his performance whilst at Valencia this season calls his attitude into question..it was clear that he wanted to leave Valencia last summer but when a move was blocked by the board he spent the entire season sulking….I know that with a guy like this goals are the bottom line but Ruud has led the line for the dutch on his own and has shown himself to be the most complete striker at the competition.

Posted by Owen | Report as abusive

I would have been a huge pity if he had stayed in the pits indeed.

Posted by leslie | Report as abusive

Villa has been sensational–against Russia and Sweden. OK. Not to be cynical, but talk to me a week from Sunday. If the Spanish are playing, and Villa has at least 3 more, then we can talk about being the best striker in the tournament. Again, Villa’s been great. Lest we forget, however, Aragones is still on the Spain bench. This team could flame out in the quarters against Italy, maybe even France.http://startingeleven.blogspot.co m/2008/06/starting-eleven-football-blog- roundup_17.html

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

[…] Wyatt and Pedro Redig discuss whether or not Aragones has made the right move. Our Spain correspondent Simon Baskett certainly thinks he has but what’s your […]

Posted by Maran Collection | Report as abusive

I disagree. Villa is good, yes. But he doesn’t belong to the best. Although Torres hasn’t been in the picture to much, I definitely think he’s by far the better striker. Furthermore Villa can score goals but what about all the chances he’s missed, people seem to forget those.

Posted by LukeB | Report as abusive

How can anybody think that David Villa is OK? He is by far the best striker at the tournament, possibly even the best striker in the WORLD. His attributes include his pace, power, technique, GREAT first touch and world class accuracy. No matter what people think, he is my tip for the golden boot (7 goals).

Posted by jake | Report as abusive

And to think there were clubs that baulked at Valencia’s asking price of €25 million before the tournament. Doh!

Posted by Lee@guillembalague.com | Report as abusive

David Villa is so far the star of Euro 2008. He has already broken a record by becoming the highest scoring spaniard in the finals, and by becoming the first spaniard to score a hat-trick in the Euro. His hat-trick and his late winner wasn’t just lucky. He is quick, talented, accurate, and definitely a player who can deliver in tough situations. At this rate, he may very well be the best striker in Euro 2008. Torres is getting more media attention, and many people thought he’d be Spain’s main striker, but right now, its looking like David Villa. The only reason Torres is popular now is because he moved to the premiership, probably the best choice of his career. When he was on Atletico Madrid he wasn’t doing all that great. Put David Villa on Liverpool or Real Madrid and he’ll have a better career as well. I think Villa is a better striker than Torres, although I still think Torres is talented. In my opinion, Villa is worth every penny of his transfer fee because I think with a good team behind him, he can become the best striker in the world.

Posted by Denise | Report as abusive

I think Lukas Podolski would be doing a lot better if Germany played him at centre forward instead of that Gomez clown. As for the best striker at Euro 2008, I think it’s a toss up between Villa and van Nistelrooy.

Posted by David Russell | Report as abusive

Villa, the best striker? Arguable, yes. He is the striker that has scored the most goals in the tournament so far [fact] so if the most goals constitutes him being the best striker then he is indeed the best.It is my opinion however, there are players that are playing better football than him in the tournament. SNEIJDER!!! Even his team mate Torres is playing a better game right now.

Posted by Joseph Robinson | Report as abusive

David Villa is a breath of fresh air, in a tournament flooded with so-called stars. Before Euro kickoff,everyone was talking about how Ronaldo, Torres etc are going to shine, and looks whats happening. Ronaldo did play a good tournament , but that did not send Portugal to the semi’s. David Villa personifies the spirit of Football.When considering the limited training times these national sides get together, it is refreshing to see the fantastic camaraderie that the spain team shares. Forget the argument of whether he is going to win the golden boot, he may not, but just his consistency and temperament so far has been enough to prove that he is one of the best out there. My votes are with Villa, the kid

Posted by Uday Menon | Report as abusive

david,happy birthday…i hope you can always so best in spain or your club…..i love you………………you is the best player in spain.

Posted by mei | Report as abusive