Former Barcelona and Valencia striker David Villa has announced that he will hang his boots at the end of the season in Japan's J1 League. Villa, Spain's all-time leading goalscorer, was a member of Spain's 2010 World Cup and Euro 2008 winning squad. The 37-year-old also won the UEFA Champions League in 2011 with Barcelona. David Villa has scored 59 goals in 98 games for Spain. He was awarded the highly coveted golden boot in Euro 2008.
The former Barcelona striker broke the news on social media. He said: "After 19 years as a professional, I have decided to retire from playing football at the end of this season.
"Thank you to all the teams, coaches and team-mates that have allowed me to enjoy this dream career. Thank you to my family, that has always been there to support me through good and hard times. It is my objective to put the cherry on top by winning the Emperor's Cup with Vissel Kobe on January 1st."
"From then on, I will continue to enjoy football through all the projects that we're currently developing with DV7 group. Thank you for all the love."
David Villa was hailed as one of the most prolific strikers of his generation. He won two La Liga titles and a Copa del Rey during his three-year stint with Barcelona. He was then sold to Atletico Madrid in 2013. Villa scored 13 goals in 2013-14 season helping the club lift La Liga trophy for the first time since 1996.
The Spanish striker will end his career at Japanese club Vissel Kobe who play Emperor's Cup semi-final on December 21. After that, he will be moving to America where Villa will be a lead investor in a new United States football franchisee named Queensboro FC in New York.