SPAIN’S all-time leading goalscorer, David Villa, has announced his retirement from football at the end of the season, which will put an end to a spellbinding career that spanned 20 years.
Villa earned his first international cap in 2005 and went on to score 59 goals for his country, 15 more than second-place Raul, and 22 more than third-place Fernando Torres.
The striker started his carer at Sporting de Gijon, before moving to Zaragoza, then to Valencia, where he made his mark as one of La Liga’s most prolific goal scorers.
Barcelona brought Villa to the Nou Camp in 2010 for €40 million and he enjoyed three seasons in Catalonia before heading to Atletico Madrid.
For the later stages of his career, Villa moved to the USA, to play for New York City, and then Japan, teaming up once again with Andres Iniesta, this time at Vissel Kobe, where he is finishing his esteemed career.
The 37-year-old has scored 12 goals so far this season, his career total being 376 goals in 752 games.
Villa will be best known for his time in Barcelona, where he and Lionel Messi and Pedro made for devastating attacking trio under Pep Guardiola at Barca, in what’s often labelled as the best club side of all time.
For his national side, Villa helped Spain emerge victorious in the 2008 European Championship and the 2010 World Cup.