Spain legend David Villa signs for Vissel Kobe

Spain’s all-time top scorer and former Barcelona forward David Villa is set to join Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe from New York City FC. The sharpshooter confirmed on Wednesday that he will depart on 31 December, after his contract expires. He will re-unite with former teammate Andres Iniesta and German striker Lucas Podolski at Asia.

With 59 goals in 98 caps for his country, Villa is widely regarded as one of the finest strikers of the generation. He enjoyed great moments at Valencia, Barcelona, Zaragoza and most recently, at New York City. All in all, the 36-year-old has a whopping 358 senior club goals to his name, in over 700 appearances.

The World Cup winner took to Youtube to confirm his transfer. He cheerfully announced:

The moment has come. It’s decided. I have a new destination. A great challenge awaits. New country. New culture. New team-mates. Hello Japan. Hello Vissel Kobe.”

An official club statement read:

“By adding Villa to its roster, Vissel Kobe aims to build on the foundation laid with the additions of Lukas Podolski and Andres Iniesta, as it takes another step towards the club’s goal of becoming the number one club in Asia.”

The club chairman, Hiroshi Mikitani, too, expressed his contentment and added:

“We are pursuing a new style of play and after talking with the coach, Villa’s name came up as a striker who would fit that style of play. He is a wonderful striker.”

Kobe recently concluded their J1 League campaign with a 10th place finish following a 3-2 win on the final day – a match where Iniesta found the back of the net. Both Iniesta and Villa together won the European Championship, World Cup, two La Liga titles, Champions League, the Copa del Rey, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup at Barcelona.

Villa’s prolific nature in front of goal didn’t seem to leave him as he netted a remarkable 80 goals in America in the course of four seasons. His experience, finishing prowess and ability to take the game away from the opposition will prove to be a fine inclusion to the Vissel Kobe squad.

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