David Villa insists he is not at Atletico Madrid as a replacement for Radamel Falcao, he is only there to make the club bigger and better.
Colombian striker Falcao enjoyed two memorable seasons with Atletico, scoring 71 goals in 90 games and winning three major trophies before moving to Monaco in a big-money switch this summer.
Villa was brought in from Barcelona to fill the void, but Spain’s record goalscorer, who cost just 2.1 million euros, insists his only target is to improve his new club’s standing in the game.
“I think that Falcao is a player who is much loved and always will be for the fans of Atleti,” he told Movistar.
“But I believe that he and I are very different in our characteristics on the field. My mission is to try and make Atleti bigger, not to help forget any player.”
Atletico’s impressive early-season form, including a narrow defeat on away goals to Barcelona in the Supercopa, has prompted suggestions that the club can seriously challenge the established top two of Barca and Real Madrid in La Liga.
While Villa feels his new team more than matched his former club in the two-legged tie, he believes a sustained title challenge is likely to be a tough ask for Diego Simeone’s men.
“We were better than Barcelona in the two games - we had more chances," he said. “We defended Barca well and had a few scoring chances ourselves. Victor Valdes was the best player and that says everything.
“But we are at a great disadvantage in contending for La Liga. On paper, we are at a disadvantage to the top two. We just have to think of going game by game and trying to earn wins in a row and we shall see what happens.”
Villa, who is currently with the international squad ahead of a friendly with Chile, was also asked for his views on the current debate raging on whether Iker Casillas, Victor Valdes or Pepe Reina should be the Spain’s No.1 goalkeeper.
“Any of the three of them are amply prepared to keep goal and the squad would not notice a change if any of them were selected because they are all capable of doing well and holding the position calmly,” he cautiously said.
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