Villa to retire after World Cup

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iol spt pic David Villa. Getty Images Spain's all-time leading goalscorer David Villa said he will retire from international duty after the World Cup in Brazil. Photo: Alex Livesey

Madrid - Spain's all-time leading goalscorer David Villa said he will retire from international duty after the World Cup in Brazil, in an interview broadcast on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old striker, who signed for New York City FC this week after helping Atletico Madrid win the Spanish league, said he was now focussed on trying to win a second World Cup for Spain in his last matches with 'La Roja'.

“Obviously this is my last World Cup and also no doubt my last matches with the national team,” he said in an interview with Spanish television channel Cuatro.

“I think that because of my age, my capacity and all I have given, it is now time,” he said, interviewed in Washington, DC where Spain were training ahead of a friendly against El Salvador on Saturday.

“But I don't like talking about (retiring) before the World Cup has even started. It will happen after the World Cup. What I want now is to enjoy it from the first day and have a great World Cup.”

Saturday's game will be Spain's last before they kick off their defence of the World Cup on June 13 against the Netherlands, their opponents in their 2010 World Cup final triumph.

Villa is the all-time top scorer in Spain's national team with 56 goals. He netted four in Spain's 2008 European Championship-winning campaign and five in Spain's run to the World Cup crown in 2010 and now heads to Brazil for what will be his third World Cup.

He joined Atletico from Barcelona last summer and helped the capital side to their first Spanish league title in 18 years.

Atletico also reached the final of the Champions League but were beaten 4-1 after extra time by rivals Real Madrid.

Villa's club career has also included stints at Valencia, Real Zaragoza and Sporting Gijon.

Earlier this week he signed a three-year deal with the new Major League Soccer team New York City FC.

New York City FC coach Jason Kreis said Villa was “undoubtedly one of the most accomplished players and best strikers in the world”.


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