Enrique Castro, better known as Quini, has expressed confidence that David Villa will not be leaving Barcelona.
The 31-year-old has been the subject of transfer speculation since returning to fitness after a serious leg break in December 2011 and struggling for regular playing time.
Even so and with his entering the last 12 months of his contract this summer, Villa is happy enough to remain at the Camp Nou, according to Barca’s former striker Quini.
“He is very happy here. I spoke to him last week and he is very happy,” affirmed the 63-year-old to reporters today.
“The thing is that Barcelona are so great and that everyone wants to play, the problem is really for the Coach.
“And all Coaches would wish to have the same problem. Being on the bench is very difficult for a player like Villa, who does not have to prove anything and is a great figure in the game.
“But he has had the misfortune of injury and because of this offers a little less.
“Great players, when they player, can have a bit of nostalgia for the pitch. You always want to be on the grass.
“But I do not think he will go. I think Villa will finish his career here, there is still a lot of satisfaction.
“He shall be here because he deserves to continue, the fans are with him and he has much to still give to the club.”
One man providing sharp competition for places in the Barca attack is Lionel Messi.
“He is from another planet, an alien who makes the difference in everything he does.
“He is the type of player who comes along every century or two. There is nobody like him now. I hope he stays here for many years and he brings happiness to people who like football and entertainment. It’s great to see him on the field, I think he is a very simple person, he is breaking all the barriers that there are.
“I was the first to have two Pichichis with Barcelona and this guy is breaking down everything I ever did! But it is good for the sport that he is breaking all the records that there are. Barriers are there for that, to be broken.”
Quini reflected that Milan would have little worth in trying to man-mark him in tonight’s Champions League Last 16 first leg meeting.
“You cannot contain him, you cannot catch him. Barcelona are currently the team to beat and the favourite, whoever they play. They are the favourites and I see another European Cup in the bag.”
Quini was talking at a publicity event at the Camp Nou, to promote a new film being released about his time as a player, including when he was kidnapped at gunpoint and held for 25 days as hostage in 1981. Despite missing a number of games for the Catalans, Quini still finished that season with the Pichichi trophy, one of five he picked up during his time in La Liga and second with Barca.