David Villa has recorded a video message for Atletico Madrid in which he confirms he is to leave for New York City FC.
Villa was yesterday pictured having a medical in Manchester, with Manchester City and the New York Yankees the co-owners of his new employers.
AS report that Villa has thanked the Atletico fans, teammates and staff for the past season, in which he claimed another League winners’ medal and played in the Champions League final.
“It has been a very positive experience for me. Not only as a player, which obviously we have all seen, but personally,” he said.
“I have found a very good group, both in the dressing room and the fans and the club. It’s a family that has made me very happy and helped me a lot.
“I will keep the memory of this year with me for life.
“It has exceeded all expectations. When I arrived I had great friends in the locker room and they told me Atletico was a family.
“But even so, and seeing what Juanfran and Adrian [Lopez], the ones I knew, and how well they spoke of Atletico, it has surpassed even that.
“It has gone far beyond all that and I will keep this experience with me through my life and in my heart.”
Villa added that the reason for Atletico’s success was that everyone at the club was pulling in the same direction.
“A united club is successful, a community of players, coaches and fans, a spectacular group of people,” he continued.
“That’s whether they take to the field or they work off it. Doctors, treasurers, other employees, coming with success reinforced from years ago.
“I wish, hope and trust that the coming years will be very successful for Atletico Madrid.
“I’m happy for what has been done this year, for helping Atletico get a title which they had missed for a very long time.
“That minute and a half of the Champions League final is a thorn. But we were very successful and will continue to be so in the coming years because I know what’s inside and I’m convinced.”
Villa then explained his reasoning for leaving behind Vicente Calderon and switching to MLS.
“I’m excited for the important project that has come to me and my family on a sporting and personal level for the future,” he revealed.
“I’m very excited to embark on another challenge. On a personal level this is what I have done in my career, taking on challenges, and I think this is another very important one for my career and for my life.
“I thank Atletico for every day they have shown me their desire that I stay. I thank Cholo Simeone and the coaching staff, who showed me their desire that I continue.
“So did Enrique Cerezo and Miguel Angel Gil for the club, which made me a new offer.
“But it’s an irresistible project for me and my family. This is football and we have to accept it.”
Villa ended with a message for the Atletico fans, admitting he was now one of them.
“I want to tell the Atletico fans that I am now one too, I will be with this team all my life for what it has given me during my year with this club,” Villa said.
“The fans, my peers, this shirt…I’ll enjoy from a distance the successes of this club and the good things you deserve and this club will do.”