‘It’s Better to Leave Football Before Football Leaves Me’
While it is a time to celebrate a glorious career, it is a sad day when a great player plans to leave the pitch. The 37-year-old David Villa has made a mark on the game that will long be remembered.
Spains legendary striker David Villa has announced his retirement. Villa is best known with American soccer fans for his time in the MLS, playing for New York City FC for four-season, where he scored 80 goals in 124 MLS appearances.
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 has also sported jerseys on the pro pitch for Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Villa who joined the Japanese club Vissel Kobe last year where he plays with Andrés Iniestawill hang up his professional cleats at the end of January 2020.
What is next? Villa’s next project will be in New York City as an investor in the new professional soccer club in New York City – Queensboro FC (QBFC). The team will be based in NYC’s borough of Queens and will make its debut in 2021 as an expansion team in the USL Championship.
”Queens always showed love to me and my family while we were in New York,” Villa shared on Twitter and NYC will be proud to welcome him back.
QBFC’s ownership group is led by New York businessman Jonathan Krane, CEO of KraneShares, an asset management firm based in New York City, and international soccer star, World Cup champion and all-time leading Spanish national team goal scorer Villa.
“I lived and played in New York for four years. I know what a special place Queens is,” said Villa. “I love the cultures, the food, the people and their passion for life and, of course, soccer. There is no other place like it in the world. It’s a dream to help build this football club in Queens and I couldn’t choose a better location.”
For now, these are the last few days of Spain’s top goal scorer in international play.
”It’s better to leave football before football leaves me,” he told a news conference speaking in Spanish. ”I’ve been thinking for several years – when you reach 33, 34 or 35 – the moment can arrive at any time in a game, in training, or with an injury.”
Villa scored 59 goals in 98 appearances for Spain from 2004-17, including five goals at the 2010 World Cup as his nation won the title for the first time.
Before signing with Kobe, Villa played at Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid before spending four seasons with New York City FC, scoring 80 goals in 124 MLS appearances.