Today, New York City FC is excited and proud to announce the signing of its first player, Spanish superstar and World Cup winner David Villa. The 32-year-old, who last month helped his former club Atletico Madrid to the La Liga title in Spain, joins the newly-formed Major League Soccer team for a three-season commitment.
As the club begins to assemble a competitive and dynamic squad, fans in New York will have the opportunity to watch one of the biggest names in world soccer when the Club’s inaugural season begins in 2015.
“This is a historic and exciting moment for the City family and the building of New York City Football Club,” said City CEO Ferran Soriano. “I know David really well; he is one of the best footballers in the world, a true winner and in an outstanding moment of his career. I’m sure New Yorkers will enjoy watching him play for their city.”
“David Villa is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished soccer players and best strikers in the world,” added Jason Kreis, Head Coach, New York City FC. "I couldn't be happier that we have acquired such an amazing talent as our first-ever signing. David will be a shining example of what it will mean to be a New York City player and a leader for us on and off the field. He is hard working, he is a natural competitor, he is a winner at heart, and he is a terrific man. 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."
Claudio Reyna, New York City FC Sporting Director commented, “David is the perfect first signing for New York City FC. His individual accomplishments are remarkable. He is the Spanish National Team's all-time top goal scorer as well as the first Spanish player to ever reach 50 international goals. He has won three La Liga championships, the Champions League, and will be playing in his 3rd World Cup this summer in Brazil. His experiences, including winning the 2010 World Cup, will be invaluable for building our club's sporting culture. I couldn’t be more excited to welcome him to New York City and have him as our club’s first player.”
After almost a decade, Villa remains one of the world’s best strikers and is a hero in Spain for his performances in the domestic league and from his international success playing for the national team.
Villa will wear the No.7 shirt as he has done throughout the majority of his career including his time in the formidable Barcelona side between 2010 and 2013.
“Throughout my career I've always tried to keep pushing myself to achieve new targets and this represents another important goal for me,” said David Villa. “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. It's a real honor that the people who have formed the club have focused their attention on me. I'm keen to do the best I can, take on board that extra responsibility and prove my worth by repaying the confidence they have shown in me.”
On the prospect of playing at Yankee Stadium, David Villa commented, “I’ve been fortunate enough to have played there before with the national team, but now I'm playing there as part of the home team; I hope a lot of people turn out to watch us. It would be nice to create expectation for the fans before the season starts by playing well and getting good results so that New Yorkers can watch their soccer there, identify with their team and become New York City fans.”
Season tickets to see David Villa and New York City FC’s inaugural season in MLS are on sale now. Call 855-77-NYCFC or visit www.nycfc.com/shop to order online.
Fans can also purchase their exclusive David Villa New York City FC shirt at nycfc.com/shop, limited supplies are available.
David Villa career highlights:
· Villa joins New York City FC from current La Liga champions Atlético Madrid
· David became the first player to score 50 goals for his national team Spain
· All-time leading goal scorer for the Spanish National Team
· Won the World Cup with Spain in 2010 scoring 5 goals and was top goal scorer with 4 goals as Spain won the European Championships in 2008
· This weekend he was named in the Spain squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
· Won two La Liga titles with Barcelona in 2010/11 and 2012/13 and again with Atlético Madrid in 2013/14
· Won the UEFA Champions league with Barcelona in 2010/2011
TRANSACTION DETAIL: New York City FC (MLS) – Signed F David Villa
Pronunciation: Dah-vid Vee-Ah
Jersey Number: #7
Hometown: Langreo, Spain
Birthplace: Langreo, Spain
Previous Clubs: Atlético Madrid, FC Barcelona, Valencia, Real Zaragoza, Sporting Gijon
How Acquired: Signed by New York City FC on a free transfer from Atlético Madrid
This announcement follows several major announcements from New York City FC in recent months, including the announcement of Yankee Stadium as the Club’s first home, the unveiling of the team’s official badge, and the hiring of Jason Kreis as the team’s first head coach.
Announced in May 2013, New York City Football Club will begin play in the 2015 season. The team was launched in partnership by Manchester City Football Club and the New York Yankees and is led by Chief Executive Officer Ferran Soriano.