David Villa Profile
|Born||Dec 03, 1981|
One of the greats of the modern game, David Villa starred for club and country throughout his career and played in Major League Soccer in his later years. Now, he's starting out in a new venture...
David Villa is a former professional footballer who played as a striker and a winger for the Spain national team and various clubs inside and outside his homeland. In terms of his club football, Villa is most famous for his stints at Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. His success throughout his career saw Villa become widely regarded as one of the best forwards of his generation.
Villa won a host of honours both for club and country, picking up three La Liga titles, one UEFA Champions League crown, a FIFA World Cup and a European Championship.
He began his senior club career with Sporting Gijon before moving on to Real Zaragoza and then Valencia. While with Valencia, he scored 108 league goals in 166 matches. In 2005/06, he was the Spanish player of the year. Later, in 2008/09, he was particularly prolific, netting 28 goals in La Liga.
Barca and Villa
Villa was hot property following his success at Valencia and in the Spanish national side, and on 19 May 2010, Barcelona struck an agreement worth €40million in transfer fees to prise him away from Mestalla.
Villa began his stint at Barcelona at the start of the 2010/11 season, fresh from winning the FIFA World Cup in South Africa with his country. Barca had been searching for a top attacker to complement Lionel Messi and had so far only enjoyed mixed success.
Samuel Eto'o had been shipped off to Inter Milan the previous year as part of a deal which saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic go the other way, but Ibrahimovic had struggled to fit in at Barca, largely (according to the Swede) due to a troubled relationship with head coach Pep Guardiola and Messi's insistence on playing down the middle.
Barcelona had won the treble in 2008/09, but surrendered their UEFA Champions League crown to Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan in 2009/10 despite retaining the La Liga title. Mourinho had just moved to Real Madrid, so Barcelona were set to face a strong challenge domestically.
Villa made his La Liga debut for Barcelona against Real Sociedad on 29 August 2010 and scored in a 3-0 win. He would continue in a similar vein of form and made a major statement of intent in his first appearance in El Clasico - the grudge match between Barcelona and Real Madrid.
On 29 November 2010, the new prodigy of football management - Guardiola came up against Mourinho, the former Barcelona assistant coach who had beaten him with Inter Milan and was now in charge of fierce rivals Real Madrid. A titanic struggle was expected at Camp Nou, but Barca breezed to a 5-0 victory with Villa bagging a brace.
Barca maintained their dominance over the course of the 2010/11 season and won La Liga, with Villa scoring 18 goals. He also scored in the UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United, which Barca won 3-1 to regain continental supremacy.
A broken tibia sustained during the FIFA Club World Cup kept Villa out for much of 2011/12 and Barca lost their domestic crown to Real Madrid and European honours to Chelsea. However, Villa and Barca picked up La Liga again in 2012/13 under the guidance of Tito Vilanova, with Villa scoring 10 league goals in 28 appearances.
This would prove to be Villa's last season at Barcelona, as he moved to Atletico Madrid ahead of the 2013/14 season at a bargain price of €5.1million.
Barca would, perhaps, come to regret that, as Villa played an instrumental role in Atletico's shock 2013/14 La Liga title win, their first since 1996. He netted 13 goals in 36 La Liga appearances for Diego Simeone's Los Rojiblancos.
Moving to New York City
At the end of the 2013/14 season, Villa announced that he would leave Atletico Madrid and begin his involvement in "an irresistible project" elsewhere. That turned out to be New York City FC, a newly formed team in the USA that would compete in the MLS in the 2015 season. New York City are a part of City Football Group, of which the main club is Manchester City.
During the 2014/15 season, Villa had a brief loan stint with Melbourne City - another member of the City Football Group - which helped draw attention to the club and keep him fit during the off-season.
Villa was named New York City FC's first ever captain on 1 February 2015 and scored the club's first ever goal nine days later in a friendly match against St. Mirren of Scotland. Villa scored 18 goals for New York City in the 2015 MLS regular season, but the club was unable to qualify for the playoffs.
In the 2015 MLS All-Star game, Villa scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur for the MLS All Stars.
Villa was the MLS MVP for 2016, owing to his 23 goals during the league season for New York City. The following year, he played for the MLS All Stars against Real Madrid, but they lost 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
During the 2017 season, Villa scored his first MLS hat-trick as New York City beat New York Red Bulls 3-2 in a derby at the Yankee Stadium. Villa finished the season with 22 goals and picked up 14 in the following MLS campaign, which saw him surpass 400 career goals for club and country.
Villa moved to Vissel Kobe on 1 December 2018 and scored 13 goals in 28 league matches for the Japanese side before retiring from football in November 2019.
Villa's international career
David Villa played a central role in an era of unparalleled success for the Spanish national team and also became the first Spaniard to score 50 goals for his country. He won the 2008 UEFA European Championship and 2010 FIFA World Cup with the national team under Luis Aragones and Vicente del Bosque respectively.
Aragones handed Villa his senior Spain debut on 9 February 2005 in a 5-0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying victory over minnows San Marino. On 16 November, he scored a late equaliser against Slovakia - his very first international goal.
Off the back of his tremendously successful 2005/06 season with Valencia, Villa made Spain's 2006 FIFA World Cup squad and starred alongside Fernando Torres as the spearhead of the attack. Villa scored twice in a 4-0 group stage win over Ukraine and also netted a consolation goal in Spain's 3-1 round of 16 defeat to eventual losing finalists France. He and Torres finished as Spain's joint top goalscorers in the tournament with three goals apiece.
Villa would go on to unseat the iconic Raul from the Spanish national team and inherit the number seven jersey, which the Real Madrid legend famously wore.
He had overtaken Raul in the Spain pecking order by the time Euro 2008 came around and justified his place by starring in the side which went on to win the tournament. Villa picked up the Golden Boot and made the Team of the Tournament together with Torres.
More success followed two years later, at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as Spain were crowned world champions in South Africa and Villa made the FIFA World Cup All-Star team.
In 2012, Spain defended their European championship, but Villa was unable to participate due to the injury picked up at the FIFA Club World Cup with Barcelona.
Villa has three children with childhood sweetheart Patricia Gonzalez, whom he married in 2003. In 2010, he sang alongside famous singer Ana Torroja on the song "Insurrection" by El Ultimo de la Fila. The beneficiary project was Voces X1FIN, with the song attempting to fundraise for the building of an art and education school in Mali.
However, Villa was later accused of the sexual harassment of an intern during his time at New York City FC - an allegation which he denied.
Net worth and Queensboro FC investment
David Villa's precise net worth is unclear, but a high-profile sponsorship from Adidas plus stints at some of football's most powerful clubs are bound to have produced some significant earnings. The four-year contract he signed with Barcelona upon joining the club was worth a reported €7million per season. Since his retirement, he has also offered significant financial backing to become co-owner of Queensboro FC - a new club based in the New York City borough of Queens, who are due to play their first match in the USL Championship in 2022.