New York City FC took a large step towards their debut today with the announcement of their first player signing, and what better name than the all-time leading scorer for the current World Cup champions? NYCFC announced the acquisition of Spanish striker David Villa early Monday morning, acquired on a free transfer from Atletico Madrid.
For those unfamiliar, Villa is one of those players who has won most everything there is to win in the sport. With Barcelona, he won two La Liga titles, one Champions League title, and one FIFA Club World Cup title. He spent the 2013-14 season with Atletico Madrid, winning the La Liga title again and placing as runners up in the Champions League. And with the Spanish national team, Villa won the 2008 European Championship and the 2010 World Cup, and holds the team's all-time top scorer with 56 goals.
In a conference call Monday afternoon, both the club's sporting director Claudio Reyna and head coach Jason Kreis dubbed Villa a "perfect" first signing. Kreis gushed, "David scores goals, he creates goals. He has demonstrated a willingness to work hard for his teams...he is ready to lead by example both on and off the field." Reyna offered, "Not only does he have a massive list of accomplishments, but he's a terrific guy, a great person. He'll be an incredible leader for our club as we built towards the future."
Villa wasn't available on the call (he was flying to the US with the Spanish national team) but in a team statement, he expressed excitement about playing for New York's newest soccer club. "Throughout my career I've always tried to keep pushing myself to achieve new targets and this represents another important goal for me. 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."
The club also provided a video interview with Villa about the move:
And Villa already took to Twitter to send a thumbs up to NYC-area fans:
On the plane heading to the USA, my next home! A quick hi to all New Yorkers! I hope you support me in the World Cup pic.twitter.com/APjvYmaroe
— David Villa (@Guaje7Villa) June 2, 2014