Barcelona and Spain striker David Villa breaks his leg
Villa sustains the injury in Barca's 4-0 Club World Cup defeat of Al Sadd
European champions Barca will face Brazilian side Santos in Sunday's final
Adrian scores twice in the easy win for the Catalan giants
Spanish international striker David Villa suffered a broken leg as European Champions Barcelona brushed aside Qatari side Al Sadd 4-0 Thursday to reach the final of the FIFA Club World Cup.
Villa fractured his left tibia while trying to latch on to an Andres Iniesta through ball after 34 minutes of the semifinal clash in Japan’s Toyota City and was carried off on a stretcher.
Spanish champions Barca will come up against Santos in Sunday’s final after the Brazilian team beat Japan’s Kashiwa Reysol 3-1 Wednesday.
Barca sealed their comprehensive victory with a brace from full-back Adriano and strikes from Mali’s Seydou Keita and Brazilian Maxwell.
Villa was restored to the starting line-up by coach Pep Guardiola having recently lost his place in the team to Alexis Sanchez, with the Chilean preferred for last weekend’s “El Clasico” victory over archrivals Real Madrid.
Sanchez arrived from Udinese in July, but saw the start of his Barca career hampered by a hamstring injury. The 22-year-old’s recovery and return to the first team has prompted speculation over Villa’s future with the Catalan giants.
The 30-year-old has found the net just five times in 15 Spanish La Liga appearances this season and now faces a lengthy period on the sidelines.
A later statement on the Barcelona official website confirmed the bad news:
“Villa will return to Barcelona, via Frankfurt, to be operated on. He will be accompanied by doctor Ricard Pruna and Manel Estiarte. The approximate time he will be sidelined is between four and five months.”
Barca coach Guardiola added: : “He will be greatly missed as a colleague and as a player. I hope everything goes well.
“He will be out for a long time. It’s a big blow to the team. We just hope that he can play again as soon as possible.”
In that time frame, Villa could also face a race against time to be fit to take his place for Spain as they defend their title at Euro 2012 in Ukraine and Poland in June.
Barca never looked like losing to Asian Champions League winners Al Sadd and took the lead when Adriano pounced on an error by goalkeeper Mohamed Saqr to bundle the ball home after 25 minutes.
Adriano doubled his and Barca’s tally two minutes before half time, latching onto Thiago’s pass to hammer his shot beyond a helpless Saqr.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first, with Barca dominant. The third goal arrived with 26 minutes to go, Argentina star Lionel Messi slipping a perfect pass through for Keita to finish.
Spain midfielder Thiago was once again involved in the fourth and final goal, the 20-year-old playing in Maxwell who fired a shot into the bottom corner.
Barca will be looking to claim the title for the second time in three years, having beaten Argentina’s Estudiantes to the crown in 2009.