Former Barcelona striker David Villa announced that he will be finally hanging up his boots at Vissel Kobe after a 19-year illustrious career that saw him win the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 European Championship with Spain and the 2011 Champions League with Barcelona. Villa will retire at the end of the current Japanese season where he plays as a striker for J1 League team Vissel Kobe.
The former Valencia striker stated that he decided to retire from professional football at the end of this season and thanked everyone in a tweet
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 said that he planned to end his career on a high note by winning the Emperor's Cup with Vissel as they play a semi-final against Shimizu S-Pulse on December 21 before a possible final on January 1.
After retirement, he will return to New York and be a lead investor in a new United States football team Queensboro FC who will be making its debut in the second tier of American football from 2021.
The striker is Spain's all-time top scorer with a total of 59 goals in 98 games with 4 goals coming at the Euro 2008 championship where he won the Golden Boot award and was also named in the team of the tournament.
He was regarded as one of the most prolific strikers in Spain and rose to stardom at Valencia where he netted more than 100 goals in 5 years that also saw him win the 2008 Copa del Rey. He then signed a deal with Barcelona in 2010 and enjoyed 3 successful years with the Catalans winning 2 La Liga titles and Copa del Rey. He was also instrumental in winning the 2011 Champions League with Barcelona by scoring one of the goals in a 3-1 win over Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United at the Wembley Stadium.
David Villa went on to play for Athletico Madrid in 2013 where he won the third La Liga title of his career, scoring a total of 13 goals in 36 games to help win their first league title since 1996.
(With inputs from agencies)