Former Barcelona and Spain striker David Villa will be joining Andres Iniesta Japanese club Vissel Kobe from the next season. Villa made the announcement via Youtube on Saturday. Two days before that, he revealed that he would be leaving American Major League Soccer team New York City FC at the end of his current contract, which expires in December.
The 36-year-old, who played with Iniesta at Barcelona and the Spanish national team that won the 2010 World Cup, joined New York City in 2014 after one year with Atletico Madrid.
Villa started his career with Sporting Gijon before playing for Real Zaragoza and Valencia. He joined Barcelona after the 2010 World Cup and with the Catalan giants, he won two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and one UEFA Champions League title.
Villa retired from international duty after the 2014 World Cup, bringing to an end a 13-year-long career. He remains Spain’s record goalscorer with 59 goals, ahead of Raul and Fernando Torres on the list. He was an integral part of the dominant Spanish team that won the 2008 Euros and the 2010 World Cup. He was joint top scorer in the latter with Germany’s Thomas Mueller. Villa also finished top scorer in Spain’s qualifying group for the 2012 Euros but an injury kept him out of the tournament, which Spain eventually went on to win. Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque had said during the 2009 Confederations Cup that he would prefer Villa “over Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Apart from Iniesta, Villa will also be joining former Germany star and World Cup winner Lukas Podolski at Vissel. The club finished 10th in the J-League first division following a disappointing 2018 season.