HomeFootballSpanish football great David Villa seeks new challenges in the Middle East

Spanish football great David Villa seeks new challenges in the Middle East


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Villa is Spain’s top scorer in international games. He’s won it all: the World Cup, the European Championship, the Champions Trophy, three La Liga titles, several Copa del Rey titles, the UEFA Super Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup, and many more. Villa’s accomplishments are numerous. The Golden Boot in the 2008 Euro and winning the Silver Boot in the 2010 World Cup, scoring five goals, are some of them.

Since his international debut in 2005, Villa quickly established himself as a formidable striker, capable of scoring with either foot. His lethal dead-ball skills, exceptional dribbling, and passing were instrumental in Spain’s victories at the European Championship and the World Cup. At the 2014 World Cup, he emerged as Spain’s top scorer with nine goals. When he retired from the national team with 59 goals from 98 matches, he had cemented his status as one of Spain’s greatest players.

From a miner’s son in the small parish of Tuilla in northern Spain, Villa’s journey to the global football stage is a testament to his extraordinary talent. Overcoming a fractured femur in his childhood, he honed his skills playing with older children, earning the nickname El Guaje (The Kid in Asturian). With unwavering support from his father, Jose Manuel Villa, he trained rigorously, setting the stage for his future success.

Villa gained a professional breakthrough at his local club Sporting Gijon. The journey to become the LALIGA legend began at Real Zaragoza, where he won the Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup before moving to Valencia. Barcelona came calling in 2010, and Villa won his first LALIGA and UEFA Champions League titles. A transfer to Atletico Madrid fetched another LALIGA title and one more appearance in the Champions League final.

Crossing the Atlantic, Villa joined New York City and became the MLS club’s record goalscorer before moving to Vissel Kobe in Japan and retiring in 2020. By then, he had found a place in the pantheon of Spanish football greats.

So, what’s Villa doing in Saudi Arabia? The kingdom is the new hub of world sports, offering plenty of opportunities for a footballer of Villa’s experience and expertise. Saudi football will be richer if Villa comes out of retirement.

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