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Japanese fans send 1,000 paper cranes to crocked Barcelona star Villa

Barcelona's David Villa has received a gift of 1,000 paper cranes from Japanese fans as he continues his recovery from a broken leg.

The Spanish star fractured his tibia during the Club World Cup semi-final against Al-Sadd in Japan in December and is now stepping up his rehab.

Villa, who is expected to return in April, is a loved player in Japan with many Barcelona supporters in the country getting together to send him symbols of support which he has revealed was a well-received gesture.

"All of these things give me strength to keep on going and continue with my recovery," Villa said.

"I will keep these with a lot of affection. I am sure that they will give me good luck and I will be able to return stronger.

"Even though I was injured in Japan, I have great memories. We won a very important title for the club and for me, it was the most important title that I had yet to win.

"I want to thank them for all the time they spent doing this for me."

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