The World Cup winner said he would retire at the end of the season after 19 years playing professionally.
Former Barcelona star David Villa has announced that he will retire from football at the end of the current Japanese J-League season, after a 19-year playing career.
The 37-year-old currently plays for Japanese side Vissel Kobe, who play their Emperor’s Cup semi-final on 21 December and a win would see them take part in the final on 1 January.
Spain’s all-time record goalscorer, who won the 2010 World Cup as well as the European Championships in 2008, netted 59 times from 98 appearances for his country. In his time at Barcelona, the forward won La Liga twice, while he also won the Champions League in 2011 -scoring in the final against Manchester United.
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
The Spaniard – who also played for Sporting Gijon, Zaragoza, Valencia and Atletico Madrid – has now decided to call time on his playing career and he took to Twitter to make the announcement, stating: “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 dream career.
“Thank you to my family, that has always been there to support me through good and hard times. It is my objective to put the cherry on top by winning the Emperor’s Cup with Vissel Kobe on January 1st.
“From then on, I will continue to enjoy football through all the projects that we’re currently developing with DV7 group. Thank you for all the love.”
Villa rose to prominence at Spanish side Valencia, where he went on to score 108 league goals for the club and also won the Copa del Rey. The striker then moved to Barcelona and went on to secure two league titles with the Spanish giants as well as the Champions League and the Copa del Rey once more.
After three successful seasons, he joined Atletico Madrid and helped them win La Liga, before moving to MLS.
Villa has certainly had a stellar career, scoring 376 goals in 752 games across his club career, forging a reputation as one of Spain’s finest strikers.
As a result, the footballing world took to Twitter to celebrate his fine and illustrious career…
After 19 years in the game, David Villa will retire from football at the end of this season…— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 13, 2019
• 38 in 94 for Zaragoza
• 127 in 219 for Valencia
• 48 in 119 for Barcelona
• 15 in 47 for Atlético
• 59 in 98 for Spain
A true Spanish striking legend 🔥🇪🇸 pic.twitter.com/GfDhYNQdvE