Today New York City FC made a huge splash, not only for themselves, but for the MLS by signing their first ever player, Spanish striker David Villa. NYCFC and Villa agreed on a three year deal to move the Spanish striker from Atletico Madrid to the Big Apple.
Villa tweeted his reaction to the news earlier today:
— David Villa (@Guaje7Villa) June 2, 2014
Villa was acquired on a free transfer from Spanish Primera division champions Atletico Madrid, a club for which he appeared in 36 games this season, netting 13 goals and adding 4 assists on the campaign. Villa started for Atletico on club soccer’s biggest stage this year as well, playing the entirety of Atletico’s defeat to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Final in Lisbon, Portugal.
The signing of the Spain international is huge news for the club, without question, but it also huge news for the MLS.
Villa is not the player he once was, but at 32 years old he is still a top class European player, something that the MLS has had difficulty luring from the top European leagues. After helping Atletico as he did this season, he could have easily found a club in Europe to contribute to, but chose to come to New York as FC’s first signing.
Villa has played his entire club career in Spain, starting at Sporting Gijon before moving to Real Zaragoza ,Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. He was a key figure in a Barcelona side that won two Spanish Primera Division titles and the UEFA Champions League.
He was recently named to defending World Cup Champion Spain’s 23 man roster for the World Cup, arguably as difficult a squad to crack in the world. This will be his third time representing Spain on the world’s biggest stage. He is Spain’s all time leading scorer with 56 international goals.