David Villa to retire at the end of the season

Via a post on his official Twitter account, former La Furia Roja forward David Villa, who now plays for Vissel Kobe in Japan, announced on Tuesday that he will retire from football at the end of the current J1 League campaign.

The 37-year-old Vissel Kobe striker said he will call it a day at the end of the 2019 J-League season after a 19-year career that took in Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Valencia while accumulating 98 caps for his country.

He made the announcement in a tweet on his official Twitter page on Tuesday night.

"I have chose to end my professional career and that I have made a decision to retire", Villa told reporters in Kobe, his voice occasionally breaking with emotion.

"Thank you to all the teams, coaches and teammates that have allowed me to enjoy this dreamed career".

"Queens always showed love to me and my family while we were in NY", he wrote on Twitter.

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He won three Copa del Rey, two La Ligas, three Spanish Super Cups, one Champions League, one European Super Cup and one Club World Cup at club level.

He also enjoyed success with Spain, winning Euro 2008, a tournament at which he was the top scorer, and later the World Cup in 2010.

"It's better to leave football before football leaves me", he told a news conference speaking in Spanish.

Villa moved to New York City in 2014 and scored 80 in 124 MLS appearances.

Villa will become an investor in Queensboro FC, a new franchise based in the NY district of Queens that will play in the second tier of USA football.

The former Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid striker, 38, will leave behind a playing career full of goals, records and trophies.

  • Lawrence Cooper