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DAVID VILLA

Villa: World Cup-winning Spain great to retire at end of year

Former Valencia, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid and Spain striker David Villa has announced that he is retiring from professional football.

Villa: World Cup-winning Spain great to retire at end of year
David Ramos Getty Images

Spain great David Villa has announced that he is to retire from professional football at the end of the calendar year.

Villa, who turns 38 next month, will hang up his boots at the end of Vissel Kobe's season, he revealed at a news conference on Wednesday.

The forward has scored 12 goals in 26 J.League games for Vissel Kobe, the club he joined after a spell with New York City.

"Thank you for an outstanding career, @Guaje7Villa," Vissel Kobe wrote on Twitter, the club confirming on their website that Villa would retire at season's end.

Villa won 2010 World Cup and 2008 Euros with Spain

Villa enjoyed a glittering career, starring with Sporting Gijón before earning a move to Real Zaragoza, and a switch to Valencia followed.

After scoring more than 100 goals for Valencia, Villa joined Barcelona for three seasons – winning two LaLiga titles and a Champions League – before moving to Atlético Madrid.

Villa later spent four seasons with New York City and had a brief spell at Melbourne City before heading to Japan.

He also played 98 games for Spain, winning Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, and holds the record for most goals for the nation with 59.

Villa won the Golden Boot at Euro 2008, while he netted five times at the 2010 World Cup.

Villa to go into club ownership in the United States

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Villa is a lead investor in Queensboro FC, who are set to play in the USL Championship beginning in 2021.