Days after The Daily Mirror linked both Frank Lampard and David Villa to New York City FC, the new MLS club co-owned by the Yankees and Manchester City, the Spanish strikerhas officially inked a three-year dealwith the club that will play out of Yankee Stadium beginning in March.
Villa, 32, is Spain’s all-time leading goal scorer and was an integral member of the Spanish sides that won Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. His club career has been equally impressive, particularly his stint at FC Barcelona from 2010-2013, when he helped win both La Liga and the UEFA Champion’s League. This past season, Villa helped Atletico Madrid win its first La Liga title since 1996 and took them to the Champion’s League final.
“Throughout my career I’ve always tried to keep pushing myself to achieve new targets and this represents another important goal for me,” Villa said today. “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 honour 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.”
Lampard, the 35-year-old English veteran midfielder, confirmed this morning that he’s departing from Chelsea, but no offical deal has been made with New York City FC, despite reports. Lampard, Chelsea’s all-time leading goal scorer (211) had also been previously linked to the L.A. Galaxy, and will serve as the vice captain on England’s World Cup squad this summer.
Villa’s signing marks a trend in recent years of high-profile European players joining MLS late in their careers. The Spaniard will share New York City’s soccer limelight with French striker Thierry Henry, currently playing for the New York Red Bulls. Here’s hoping Villa’s arrival sparks the beginning of a new sports rivalry in New York City.
Here’s a video from Villa’s signing this morning:
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