Villa, 32, has signed a three-year contract at undisclosed terms to play for NYCFC, which will begin play next year in MLS as an expansion team. Villa is its first player signing and he certainly fits the bill of a big-name star that will generate buzz as well as produce on the field.
“David Villa is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished soccer players and best strikers in the world,” said head coach Jason Kreis in a press release announcing the deal. ‘I couldn't be happier that we have acquired such an amazing talent as our first-ever signing. 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.”
Villa's resume is a remarkable one. Spain’s all-time leading scorer and the first to reach 50 goals, he has won three Spanish League titles -- two with Barcelona, and the one Atletico clinched last month -- and scored five goals as Spain won the 2010 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,” said Villa in the statement. “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 the league.”
Villa will join NYCFC in January for the start of MLS preseason training. During a conference call with reporters, team executives refuted reports that he will play on loan after the World Cup with Manchester City, whose ownership group purchased the New York City expansion rights from MLS a year ago. There will be a loan deal in place but no specifics have been released.