Forward David Villa says he will feel "plenty of strange emotions" as he returns to Valencia CF with his new club FC Barcelona for tonight's third v first battle in Spain.
The 29-year-old knows his side can open up a ten-point lead on Real Madrid CF if they triumph at Mestalla, but having scored 108 goals in 166 Liga games over five seasons at Valencia, he admits he may struggle to celebrate a win at his old stamping ground. "The people of Valencia were very kind to me and the club helped me become what I am today," he said. "
I don't want to insult them or make a show of myself, so if I score I'll do my best not to go mad."
Having felt the full force of a Barcelona team many times before his move to Camp Nou last summer, Villa concedes that he is happier to be on their side this time. "I know only too well what it is like to face them," the Spanish international explained. "The build-up to the game was like no other. You did a lot of preparation, in the knowledge you would be chasing the ball an awful lot. Then, when the game came, you would do everything you had to do – but still lose 6-0, 4-0, 3-0. Now I see that frustration on the faces of opponents."
It is a familiar frustration for Mestalla coach Unai Emery, who has yet to oversee a victory against Barcelona in seven attempts with either UD Almería or Valencia. However, the 39-year-old can at least boast that an Azulgrana team led by Josep Guardiola has never left Valencia with three points.
"The best team in the world are coming and with them the best players and one of the best coaches," he said. "Even so, we must be aware that we can beat them – our home record in these games is good. We know how hard it will be, but my team will not be throwing in the towel."
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