New York City FC is delighted to announce World Cup winner and Spain legend David Villa has become the club’s first official signing.
Villa becomes our sister side’s first Designated Player and soccer fans in New York will now have the opportunity to watch one of the biggest names in world football when the inaugural campaign begins early next year.
Nicknamed ‘El Guaje’ (The Kid), he remains one of the world’s best strikers – and has been for almost a decade – and is a national hero in his homeland for his exploits at domestic and national team level.
David joins NYCFC from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid after agreeing a three-year deal with the MLS side ahead of the 2014 World Cup.
“Throughout my career I've always tried to keep pushing myself to achieve new targets and this represents another important goal for me," he said.
I want to try and help MLS continue to grow, through playing, working hard, scoring goals and at the same time try to make New York City FC become the best team in MLS
“It's a real honour honor that the people who have formed the club have focused their attention on me. I'm really keen to do the best I can, take on board that extra responsibility and prove my worth by repaying the confidence they have shown in me.”
Villa has worn the No.7 shirt throughout the majority of his career and the 32-year-old was part of the all-conquering Barcelona side that swept all before them between 2010 and 2013 having signed for a fee of £40m from Valencia.
The Tuilla-born forward won the Champions League and La Liga title during his first season at the Camp Nou and Villa played his part to the full in Pep Guardiola’s side, scoring 23 goals in 52 games with his partnership with Lionel Messi particularly productive.
Villa has also played for Sporting Gijon and Real Zaragoza in a playing career that has so far seen him score a hugely impressive 297 goals in 613 appearances – just shy of a goal every two games and New York City FC fans will hope he brings his prolific scoring record to the MLS.
The first player to score 50 goals for Spain, Villa was an integral member of the team who won the 2010 World Cup and also Euro 2008 and is La Roja’s all-time top scorer in World Cup tournament.
He has achieved legendary status after scoring 56 goals in 94 appearances for his country and has been included in Vicente Del Bosque’s squad for Brazil 2014.
“David Villa is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished soccer players and best strikers in the world,” said Jason Kreis, Head Coach, New York City FC.
"I couldn't be happier that we have acquired such an amazing talent as our first ever signing. David will be a shining example of what it will mean to be a New York City player and a leader for us on and off the field.
He is hard working, he is a natural competitor, he is a winner at heart, and he is a terrific man. David has checked every box for what we were looking for in our first signing and it is a great day to be a member of this growing family of a club
CEO Ferran Soriano was equally delighted with the capture of Villa, adding: “This is a historic and exciting moment for the City family and the building of New York City Football Club. I know David really well, he is one of the best footballers in the world, a true winner and in an outstanding moment of his career. I’m sure New Yorkers will enjoy watching him play for their city.”
A consistently prolific striker, Villa has scored 20 goals or more so far in his career on ten occasions and managed another 13 in 36 La Liga games for Atleti last season.
Villa finished his time in Spain against Real Madrid in last week’s Champions League final, though he couldn’t end his year with The Red and Whites on the ultimate European high after Atleti went down 4-1 in extra time.
David has won every major trophy in Spain and with his country and his signing is a show of intent that New York City FC will be major players in the 2014/15 MLS campaign.
For more on the signing, visit www.nycfc.com.