David Villa has announced he will retire from international football after the World Cup.
Villa, 32, Spain’s all-time leading scorer, with 56 goals in 94 games, on Monday agreed a three-year deal with emerging Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise, New York City FC (NYCFC).
The Spaniard was on target 13 times in 36 appearances as Atletico won their first La Liga title in eighteen seasons.
He will make his third World Cup appearance in Brazil, where the European and World champions will play the Netherlands, Chile and Australia in Group B.
“I don’t like to say it, but yes, obviously this will be my last World Cup and my last game with the selection, given my age, my level of performance, and everything I have given the team. It is time,” said Villa, who has scored more World Cup goals than any other player in Spain history.
After making his international debut in a 2006 World Cup qualifier 5-0 thrashing of San Marino in February 2005, Villa was called up in the ‘La Roja Furia’ squad for the tournament held in Germany- netting a brace in the 4-0 opening fame win over Ukraine.
His four goals in four matches saw him claim the Golden Boot in the 2008 European championship won by Spain.
He went on to win the 2010 World Cup and the Euro 2012- alongside strike partner Fernando Torres, with whom he formed a formidable strike partnership.
Villa also had successful spells with Valencia and Barcelona, where he won his first Spanish title and the Champions League winner’s medal.