David Villa suffered a broken leg in Thursday’s Club World Cup win over Al-Sadd in Yokohama, Japan. FIFA.com reports the injury could sideline the Spanish international for up to six months, scrapping any rumored moves away from Barcelona.
“David has fractured his leg and will return to Barcelona for an operation as soon as possible,” Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola said.
“We are all very sad for him. He’s a charming personality and it’s a massive blow for the team. He will be out for a long time.”
The Spanish international fractured his left tibia while attempting to convert a goal-scoring opportunity in the first half of the contest. The European champions coasted to a 4-0 victory over their Asian counterparts, but lost one of its main weapons in doing so.
The injury could cost the 30-year-old a place in Spain’s squad for next summer’s European Championships. The world champions are looking to defend the European crown they captured in 2008. Villa is Spain’s all-time leading scorer with 50 goals in 81 games.
“The news is very bad,” Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque told the BBC. “It’s a great misfortune, for him above all since he is the injured one, and looking ahead to Euro 2012, of course this is very bad news.
“There are six months to go. Let’s see if he can get well. Recovering always has its set processes, but there are some players that get healthy sooner than others.”
It was rumored that Villa could leave Barcelona in January, with Liverpool and Chelsea reported to be in hot pursuit.
The striker joined the storied club in the summer of 2010 after leading Spain to the World Cup title. His £33.5 million ($52 million) transfer from Valencia was initially a success, as he scored 18 goals in 34 league games. Barcelona won La Liga, the UEFA Champions League and Spanish and UEFA Super Cups with Villa in its squad.
He has scored five goals in 15 league games this season amid speculation that he had fallen out of favor at the Nou Camp.
See the play where Villa broke his leg in the video below (courtesy of ESPN).