NYCFC wanted to make a splash with their first signing — and make a splash they have.
The new MLS team, scheduled to begin play next season, announced Monday they have inked Spanish international David Villa to a three-year deal. Villa, 32, is the all-time leading scorer for the Spanish national team.
“David Villa is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished soccer players and best strikers in the world,” said NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis in a statement. “I couldn’t be happier that we have acquired such an amazing talent as our first-ever signing.”
While details of the contract were not released, Villa is assuredly one of the club’s three possible designated player slots. These players’ salaries are not subject to the league’s salary cap.
The club will be run by a joint ownership group between the Yankees and English Premier League side Manchester City. Games will be played at Yankee Stadium next summer while the team looks for a location to build a soccer-only stadium in the city.
Villa has played for Atletico Madrid since 2013, claiming La Liga title just last month. He played for Barcelona before that, winning two more La Liga titles.
The striker was also part of Spain’s 2010 World Cup championship team. He missed out on Spain’s 2012 Euro Cup title, however, dealing with a broken tibia. He’s part of Spain’s roster again for the 2014 World Cup beginning on June 12.
Villa has scored 56 goals in his 94-game Spanish national team career. He scored 13 goals last season for Atletico Madrid.
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