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Barca insist signing in-form Villa early saved €20m

Outgoing Barcelona president Joan Laporta says the form shown by David Villa for Spain has vindicated the club's decision to sign the player before the World Cup -- and he believes the former Valencia forward's price would be €20m higher following his stellar performances in the South African finals.

Barca paid €40m for Villa in May, but the player has gone on to become the star player for Spain in this summer's World Cup, scoring four goals so far, including the winner as Vicente del Bosque's side knocked out rivals Portugal to reach the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

"Now everybody agrees we were right when we said that it was better to sign before the World Cup. What would it cost today to sign Villa? Let's say, at least, €20m more," Laporta said.


One signing Laporta was not able to tie up before the World Cup or the end of his tenure, which finishes today, is that of Arsenal's captain and ex-Barca youth player Cesc Fabregas.

But the outgoing Barca president says he hopes the Catalan midfielder will arrive, and revealed he would also like Manchester City target Yaya Toure to remain at the club.

"I would keep Toure, bring in Cesc and also another striker because it looks like Henry is leaving. That would be enough," he said.

And Laporta, who is set to hand over the reins to new president Sandro Rosell, believes he has left the club in good hands.

"What's left is a club with an enormous potential to keep on winning," he said.

"As well as the signings, our homegrown players, (Lionel) Messi, (Andres) Iniesta, Xavi, (Carles) Puyol, (Gerard) Pique and Victor Valdes are up there with the best in the world."

Laporta also believes coach Pep Guardiola is the right man to lead Barca to further glory in the coming years.

"He has had two excellent years, but I still think his record as coach will have a much longer journey because he has impressive abilities," he said.

"He lives the club, he suffers, he enjoys it and, by God, he knows a lot!

"Guardiola is the closest thing to perfection that I have ever come across in the world of football and he has an enormous potential to keep on winning."