Villa is a goal away from equalling Real Madrid captain Raúl's all-time Spain scoring record of 44. Tomorrow night's final will have an extra frisson for Villa because he missed the Euro 2008 final with a thigh strain, having already made an enormous impression as the tournament's top scorer.
Not since Gerd Müller almost four decades ago has any player led the goal charts in consecutive world and European tournaments. The German hit 10 in the 1970 World Cup and four at the Euros two years later. Villa stands on the brink of so much.
"This is really making history, this is incredible," he told the Observer. "It's hard to get here but Spain deserve it. We have worked very hard since the European Championship. We want to be champions of both competitions. We are going to die on the field in order for the team to win."