Villa unveiled as Falcao replacement at Atletico… and fans invade pitch to mob striker at Vicente Calderon

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Tottenham target David Villa was unveiled at Atletico Madrid on Monday and was promptly mobbed by supporters as he was paraded on the pitch at the Vicente Calderon.

As Villa, 31, performed the customary kick-ups and waved to supporters, fans began to rush onto the field to greet their newest player.

The former Barcelona and Valencia striker kept a smile on his face as fans were dragged off him by the stadium’s security team.

Mobbed: Fans invade the pitch in Madrid as David Villa is unveiled as their newest signing Mobbed: Fans invade the pitch in Madrid as David Villa is unveiled as their newest signing

Come here, you! Villa is smiling as he walks off the pitch amid a group of fans Come here, you! Villa is smiling as he walks off the pitch amid a group of fans

Come here, you! Villa is smiling as he walks off the pitch amid a group of fans

Villa admitted he had his heart set on a move to the Premier League until ‘the best team in world’ showed their hand.

He completed a cut-price 2.1million euro move from Barcelona on Monday afternoon. The fee paid to the Spanish champions will rise to 5.1m euros if Villa sees out the entirety of a three-year deal.

The Spain striker started less than half of Barca’s league games last season to put a host of European clubs on high alert, with Tottenham among the Premier League clubs closely linked with a move for the former Valencia forward.

But when Atletico approached him in early July, he knew his future lay with the capital club.

He told reporters: ‘We had a move to the Premier in mind but then Atleti appeared and within three days all my personal terms had been agreed.

‘From a career point of view, they weren’t lacking anything. They finished third and will play in the Champions League. They beat Real Madrid to win the Copa del Rey.

‘Starting from today, the best club in the world for me is Atletico Madrid.’

Villa’s challenge will be replacing the goal threat that disappeared to Monaco when Colombian hitman Radamel Falcao made a surprise switch to the principilaty last month.

Falcao hit 28 league goals in the 2012-13 season and 52 in just two years with Atleti, but Villa hopes his own goal record will stand up to scrutiny in southern Madrid.

The Asturian has scored 282 career goals for Sporting Gijon, Real Zaragoza, Valencia and Barcelona, with his 91-cap adventure with Spain yielding 56 goals to date.

Talent: Villa was paraded on the pitch in his full kit and had a kickabout in the process Talent: Villa was paraded on the pitch in his full kit and had a kickabout in the process

Icon: Some supporters even carried a cardboard cutout onto the pitch Icon: Some supporters even carried a cardboard cutout onto the pitch

‘I have to talk to the coach (Diego Simeone) about playing in a number nine role, where Falcao played,’ Villa added.

‘But I am simply at his disposal and will play wherever he wants. (Falcao) was loved here but hopefully I can make sure his absence isn’t felt.’

Briefly touching on his reasons for leaving Barcelona after three successful seasons, he added: ‘I left Barca because I wasn’t playing, not because the World Cup was on the horizon.

‘I love this game and I wanted to play it.’

Grappled: A member of the stadium's security team tackles one supporter to the ground Grappled: A member of the stadium’s security team tackles one supporter to the ground

Larking about: Villa looks amused as the security guards clamour to take one supporter off the field Larking about: Villa looks amused as the security guards clamour to take one supporter off the field

Popular choice: Atletico fans packed out the Vicente Calderon Stadium to see their new signing Popular choice: Atletico fans packed out the Vicente Calderon Stadium to see their new signing

All smiles: Villa (centre) looks proud as he stands with his Atletico shirt All smiles: Villa (centre) looks proud as he stands with his Atletico shirt

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Posted on July 15, 2013, in Football and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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