Former Spain and FC Barcelona striker David Villa has announced his retirement from football.
The 37-year-old will finish his career at Vissel Kobe in Japan. The Spain-legend has scored 59 goals in 98 appearances for Spain, five of them coming at the 2010 World Cup, where Spain were crowned champions for the first time.
“I wanted to leave football and not let football leave me,” Villa said. “I have been thinking [about it] for years. When you pass a certain age, you know that it can come at any time.
“I have worked my head and with my people to see that it is not simple. Your body does not warn you. This season has reached me more [than others] in saying that it is time.
“I can put that motto that I have imposed on myself at risk and it is not a decision of one or two days. It has been discussed with the people who I know and who love me and I’ve [decided to] take it this year,” explained Villa.
After 19 years as a professional, I have decided to retire from playing football at the end of this season. Thank you to all the teams, coaches and teammates that have allowed me to enjoy this dreamed career. Thank you to my family, that has always been there to support me. pic.twitter.com/E82vb3tNwT
— David Villa (@Guaje7Villa) November 13, 2019
Villa made a name for himself at Valencia before moving to Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. His time at Barcelona saw him become a Champions League winner, under Pep Guardiola, scoring the opening goal in a 3-1 victory over Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United.
After a season in Madrid, Villa headed to MLS, scoring 80 in 124 appearances. After that he headed to Japan to pair up with former teammate Andres Iniesta.
“I’m very happy with my career. I’m very proud. I have loved this sport from the beginning of my life. I have tried to do my best to bring this sport everywhere. And the future now is Queens,” concluded Villa.