SPAIN

David Villa: “I’d play for Spain again if they called me!”

The former Valencia and Barcelona striker, now in the MLS with New York City FC, says he’d be ready for a return to international football if Julen Lopetegui called on him.

David Villa won’t rule out a return to the Spanish national team. The New York City FC striker – who is Spain’s all-time leading goal scorer – told US podcast Planet Football that he never officially retired from international duty and that he’d be delighted to play for la roja again if he ever got the call from Julen Lopetegui.

Villa ready to play for Spain again

I never retired from the national team,” he said. “At this stage of this season I know I won’t play because if we [in the MLS] aren’t playing then they won’t call me. But I’m ready to come back, even though I know it’s difficult because the coach has been looking at other players over the last eight months.”

David Villa: “I’d play for Spain again if they called me!”

He's still got it! Villa has proved to be a prolific goalscorer in the MLS

The former Valencia and Barcelona striker won 97 caps for Spain and his goals tally of 59 remains a record for the national team. He won the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championships in 2008, but missed out on the Euro 2012 title through injury.

Being with La Roja was the happiest I've been in my career, says Villa

I never said I’d retire from the national team because that’s where I’ve been the happiest in my career,” he added.

Villa is well aware of the stiff competition he would face for a call-up. “There are some fantastic players up front like Diego Costa, Morata, Alcácer, Lucas Vázquez, Lucas Pérez and Aduriz,” he said. “That’s good for Spain, and for Lopetegui who chooses the team. But if he calls me, I’m ready!

Villa in action for Spain during the 2010 World Cup