David Villa is shaping up as the hero of this fine season for Valencia CF and he certainly has no worries about their potential opponents in Friday's UEFA Champions League quarter-final draw. The Spanish side's away-goals victory against FC Internazionale Milano on Tuesday leaves them in the company of Europe's strongest teams at a time when they are also closing in on top spot in Spain.
"Whatever happens in the draw, there are no ties that wouldn't be complicated," Villa told uefa.com - although it is not a case of Valencia just being happy to be there. "Whoever we get, we'll be up for it and not intimidated. Let's see if we can use the quarter-final as another step on the road to the semi-finals." The draw, taking place in Athens, will allow Valencia to plot their path to the Greek capital for the 23 May final.
The Spain striker has been carrying the scoring burden at vital moments this term, and it was his goal in Milan, along with David Silva's, that eventually sufficed to eliminate the Serie A champions-elect - the 2-2 draw a fortnight ago being followed by this week's hard-earned stalemate. Against Inter at the Mestalla, chances were scarce but Villa's terrific workrate and willingness to help team-mates out of difficult situations won him the uefa.com users' Man of the Match vote.
"I'm grateful, but I genuinely believe that after such a match, the whole team deserves this award," the 25-year-old said. "However, it's nice to be recognised by the uefa.com users and we are all delighted as you can imagine after this important win." For Villa, the fact Valencia survived several moments when Inter might have turned the game, is a mark of their maturity. "Inter had opportunities, but we were in control for much of the match," he said. "The game only really opened up towards the end when both sides had chances. What's most important is that we won the tie even though we didn't achieve a home win. I'm pleased we didn't pay the price of giving away a late goal - in the end it was our night."
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