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Villa back as Spain begins bid for 4th major title

LONDON — Energized by the return from injury of David Villa, Spain couldn't be in better shape before its qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup on Tuesday.

The Spanish will hope the road to Brazil ends with an unprecedented fourth straight major title, backing up the defense of their European Championship title this summer with the retention of their world crown.

First up for Spain in its five-team Group I is a trip to Georgia, where Villa will be available. He played his first match in the national jersey since November, adding a goal in the 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia on Friday.

Qualifying in the European zone began Friday, when Italy was the only top side to fail to start with a victory.