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The man behind 424 goals and thousands of memories

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 2,985

Pin The man behind 426 goals and thousands of memories. AFP
The man behind 426 goals and thousands of memories. AFP

The man behind 424 goals and thousands of memories

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 2,985

David Villa announced this Wednesday that he will retire at the end of the season. The veteran striker decided it's time to step aside and think about writing a new chapter in his life. He leaves football with 426 goals as a professional - as of today - and thousands of memories.

Rumours started on Tuesday, when the news leaked that he was looking to create a team in Queens, New York, and the news was confirmed by the player himself just a few hours later. David Villa leaves football and does so after a long career of almost two decades, in which he became the best Spanish striker and one of the most important footballers around the world football.

The numbers speak for themselves: 426 goals football fans around the world were lucky to enjoy. Beyond the goals, of course, are the iconic images of his celebrations in the Euro 2008, the World Cup 2010 or the Champions 2011, with Barcelona.

Beyond the team that surrounded him in these three competitions, his contributions to Barcelona and Spain will always be remembered. Vital in the first phase and in the qualifying rounds against Austria and Switzerland, throughout the World Cup in South Africa ... and in the final of Wembley with Barcelona, probably his most complete game as a professional.

A meteoric rise


But David Villa's career is not limited to a few sparks here and there. He was always a regular goalscorer, from the time he Sporting's first team in the 2001-02 season (he had debuted in the previous one) until his arrival at Vissel Kobe.

At Sporting, he scored 20 and 21 goals in his two seasons with the team from his homeland. The Second Division was too small for him and that's why Real Zaragoza decided to sign him when he was only 22 years old. Villa corresponded: 20 and 18 goals and his first two titles, a Cup and a Supercup.

David Villa, sinónimo de gol

The attacker's hunger was voracious. That is why he only lasted two campaigns in La Romareda. A bigger challenge was waiting for him in Valencia, a consolidated team where played at his best, despite only winning one title, the Copa del Rey in 2008. However, he remained immensely skilled as a goalscorer: 28, 20, 22, 31 and 28 goals respectively in the five campaigns he spent in Valencia. 

The Euro, the World Cup... and the Champions League


Most notably, he was also an integral part of Spain's World Cup-winning performance in 2010, earning a spot in the best generation in the history of Spanish football. He was expected to join Real Madrid in 2009, but he ended up in Barcelona a year later.

He came to replace a Zlatan Ibrahimovic who had collided head-on with Pep Guardiola. And that's why the challenge was one of the most important for the Asturian, who was no longer a boy. Hand in hand with Pep, he played his most complete campaign, with 52 games, 48 starts and 4,093 minutes. Never played as much as in that 2010-11, which ended with 23 goals and the spectacular Wembley Champions League win.

But along came the injuries, those that Villa had been lucky enough to avoid throughout his career until then. He could only play 24 games in his second season in Barcelona, with only nine goals. And when he fully recovered, in 2012-13, Barça was a very different team. Guardiola had left, he was not the same after his recovery ... He closed the year with 16 goals and headed to Atletico, thanks to help from the club, who let him go for a non-market price. But he left with a few titles to his name: two Supercups, two Leagues, one European Supercup, one Champions League and one Club World Cup.

He was in the capital for only a year.  Age began to weigh for Villa, but the striker had not forgotten how to score goals. He left Calderon with 15 goals and accepted that in the last phase of his career he had to face other very different challenges.

Melbourne City (two goals) and New York City (18, 23, 24 and 15 goals) arrived and even the national team - with which he scored 59 goals - called him up again, making a comeback in 2017. Since February, he and his friend Andres Iniesta have been enjoying themselves in Japan, where he has 12 goals for Vissel Kobe. The end of a wonderful career as one of Spain's biggest and brightest players

 

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