Spanish striker David Villa has announced that he will retire from international football at the conclusion of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Villa made his international debut for Spain in a World Cup Qualifier against San Marino in 2006 and he has been a key member of the dominant Spanish side ever since.
The Spaniard made first appearance at a World Cup in Germany in 2006, where he netted three goals before Spain were eliminated in the second round by Brazil, before stamping himself as a genuine superstar on the world stage by being the top scorer in the 2008 European Championship.
Villa maintained his success in international competitions by playing a key role in Spain’s charge to the 2010 World Cup title in South Africa, winning the Silver Boot award, and finished the tournament as Spain’s leading goal scorer in World Cup history.
The 32-year-old is determine to improve his impressive goals strike rate for Spain in the 2014 World Cup and believes that there is no reason that he cannot finish his World Cup career with another major tournament victory.
“I don’t like to say farewell, but obviously this World Cup will be my last games for Spain,” Villa said.
“Given my age, my level of performance, and everything I have given the team, it is time.
“Now I want to enjoy it from the first day, have a great World Cup, and why not try to get another title?”
While Villa will be retiring from international football, his days as a professional footballer are far from over after he signed a lucrative three-year agreement with Major League Soccer Club New York City FC on Monday.
Villa was the first signing in the history of the franchise, which is owned by reigning English Premier League champions Manchester City, and the prolific goalscorer believes that he has plenty to offer the new franchise.
“It’s one of the reasons I accepted this offer because I still have a lot of football left in me, otherwise I would have gone home,” Villa said.
“I want to make a name for myself in this part of the world.”
Spain open their 2014 World Cup campaign against Holland in Salvador on June 13 before taking on Chile in Rio de Janeiro on June 18 and Australia in Curitiba on June 23.
Spain is currently available at 2014 World Cup odds of $7.50 to become just the second team in history to win consecutive World Cup titles, while Villa is available at odds of $67 with Ladbrokes.com.au to finish the tournament as the leading goal scorer.