Villa: It's special to be back

David Villa spoke of his delight to be back in the international fold after marking his first appearance for Spain in almost a year with a goal in its 5-0 friendly thrashing of Saudi Arabia in Pontevedra.

Villa, who has only recently returned to action after suffering a broken leg in December and missed Spain's successful European Championship defence, slotted home a 63rd-minute penalty in the victory soon after replacing Fernando Torres.

Spain's all-time record goalscorer said: "It's obviously a special day to be able to return to the national team after so much time out, great for me, especially being back alongside my team-mates, because I've missed them both in matches and training.

"There's no need to look back now and I can look forward to enjoying myself again."

Villa's goal was his 52nd for his country and came after strikes from Santi Cazorla (23), Pedro Rodriguez (27) and Xavi (47) had left Spain in complete control. Pedro then added a fifth in the 73rd minute as Vicente del Bosque's side warmed up for their opening World Cup qualifier against Georgia on Wednesday (AEST) in emphatic style.

It remains to be seen what part Villa will play in that match, but the Barcelona man feels he is improving all the time following his long lay-off.

"Little by little I'm going to continue improving, I'm getting better physically," he said. "I've spent a lot of time training, the body is adapting but getting a starting spot is down to the coach."

Villa also praised the man he replaced, Torres, who made his 100th appearance for Spain and was handed the captain's armband in the absence of Iker Casillas.

Villa said: "A hundred international games for any country is very difficult to achieve. We need to congratulate him because he deserves it.

"Fortunately for all he is now in a sweet moment and he's a unique player."

Chelsea striker Torres follows team-mates Casillas, Xavi and Xabi Alonso in reaching three figures for his country, while Carles Puyol and Sergio Ramos are both in the 90s.

Torres said: "It's a day I'm never going to forget.

"The number of players reaching the 100 club says a lot about the national team in recent years and, fortunately, there are many players who will pass 100 games, and younger ones like Cesc (Fabregas) and Ramos.

"We need to be proud about that, it's a team that's been together many years and that makes it is easier to achieve things. I think it's a privilege to be here with these companions."