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Soldado replaces Villa at Valencia

Getafe CF striker Roberto Soldado has joined Valencia CF as the UEFA Champions League group stage contenders respond to the departure of David Villa for FC Barcelona.

Soldado replaces Villa at Valencia
Soldado replaces Villa at Valencia ©UEFA.com

Valencia CF have signed Roberto Soldado from Liga rivals Getafe CF as a replacement for Spain striker David Villa, who completed a €40m move to FC Barcelona last month.

No details of a fee have been released for the 25-year-old Soldado, who has been capped twice by Spain, with the former Real Madrid CF trainee committing to a four-year contract at Mestalla.

Soldado insisted that he was his own man, and was not concerned about filling the gap left by Villa, who scored 108 goals in 166 league games for Valencia. "I have all the enthusiasm in the world, but I'm not here to replace anyone," he said. "I'll contribute as much as possible with my work."

Soldado made his first Liga appearances with Madrid during the 2005/06 season, but never became a fixture in the first team, spending the following campaign on loan at CA Osasuna, and moving out to the Spanish capital's suburbs to join Getafe in 2008.

His spell at the Azulones was to prove much more profitable; he scored 13 league goals in his first season and improved on that tally with 16 in 2009/10, despite being out for a month through injury. His goals helped Getafe qualify for the UEFA Europa League, but Soldado will be playing UEFA Champions League football next term with Unai Emery's men, who are rebuilding following the departures of Villa and Serbian forward Nikola Žigić, now at Birmingham City FC.

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