Gerard Pique believes that Barcelona teammate David Villa could well make his eagerly-awaited comeback in Friday night's Copa del Rey final.
The forward has been out of action since fracturing his tibia during the Blaugrana's Club World Cup semifinal win over Al-Sadd in December but is hoping to prove his fitness to Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque just in time for Euro 2012 by returning to action against Athletic Bilbao.
"I see that he's doing well," Pique told reporters on Tuesday. "He has had a major injury, but is eager and every day is like a final for him. I can see him making the Copa final."
The game at the Vicente Calderon is also of huge significance to Pep Guardiola, as it will be his last outing before he steps down as Barcelona boss after four trophy-laden seasons.
Pique has been in and out of the Catalans' starting line-up in recent months, amid reports that he has fallen out with his coach, but the defender insists that he will be sorry to see Guardiola depart Camp Nou.
"His departure will be traumatic for me," the former Manchester United center back claimed. "I feel like I'm a better player because of him and the whole team has learned a lot from him.
"He will leave a gap, but Tito [Vilanova] will move us forward and do very well. Tito speaks the language of Barcelona."
As for Barca's hopes of ending Guardiola's tenure with a 14th trophy, Pique is taking nothing for granted against an Athletic side that he has the utmost respect for.
"With [coach Marcelo] Bielsa, Athletic press a lot and it will be a very intense game," the 25-year-old mused. "I see no favorite, it is a 50-50 game. So, we will fight hard to take the title."
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