Barcelona boss pleased with striker return

David Villa
Bracelona striker David Villa being stretchered off. Photo: PA

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has hailed the return of David Villa to the side after eight months on the sidelines.

The Spanish international fractured his tibia during last season's Club World Cup and made his long-awaited return as a 73rd minute substitute during Barcelona's 2-0 friendly win over Dinamo Bucharest.

"Last year we missed him (Villa) because he's a player that guarantees goals," Vilanova told the club's official website. "He's very necessary to the side.

"I spoke with the doctors and the physios before playing him against Dinamo. It is very important for us to recover players, especially if they are well-loved like Villa is."

Lionel Messi and Ibrahim Afellay were on target in Bucharest and Vilanova has been pleased with his the performances of his side.

"The team is playing at a good level ahead of the start of the league," he continued. "We have had a group of players that have trained for two solid weeks.