David Villa – Spain’s all-time record international goalscorer – has confirmed his retirement from football this year.
The former Barcelona striker – who scored 12 goals in 24 appearances for Japanese club Vissel Kobe this season – will end a 19-year career, in which he won the 2010 World Cup and 2008 European Championship with his country.
“I wanted to retire from football, not be forced to retire,” Villa said.
“Even though I will no longer be on the pitch, I will continue to be involved in football in other ways and will continue to contribute to the football world.”
Villa previously played for Sporting Gijon, Real Zaragoza, Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in La Liga, while netting 59 goals in 98 international appearances for the Spanish national team – the top scorer for the nation.
The striker won the 2010 World Cup with Spain along with the European Championships title in 2012, along with 12 medals at club level.
Nicknamed El Guaje (The Kid in Asturian), the player won three league titles across his stints with the Blaugrana and Atleti, while he also won the Copa del Rey title with three clubs – Zaragoza, Valencia and Barca.
Villa scored 80 goals in 124 MLS appearances for New York City, whom he became their first foreign star, across four campaigns before moving to Japan this year.
A report in ESPN this week outlined that Villa is part of a consortium to be granted USL franchise in New York City.
Queensboro FC, who will begin playing in the USL Championship – one level below MLS – from the 2021 campaign.
The investment group is led by Jonathan Krane – CEO of KraneShares – and the club will be the latest entry into the evolving football scene in the US.