It’s official, David Villa will leave New York City FC at the end of his contract on December 31, 2018.
As the first ever player signed for NYCFC and the first designated player Villa totaled 80 goals in 124 MLS appearances.
Villa told NYCFC.com:
I can only say thank you, thank you to everybody. First, to City Football Group that gave me the opportunity to come here. To NYCFC and MLS for accepting me. To everybody at the Club who helped me day-by-day.
Thank you to the people in the offices, the people working with the team and the coaches and staff. Thank you to my teammates – without them it would have been impossible to be successful. Thank you to the people working in the media that always gave me the respect and the love.
Obviously, our fans. I remember the first day I showed the jersey and the supporters were there. I would have liked to give the supporters the MLS Cup, but I don’t have any doubts that in the next years the Club will get it for sure.
My experience here was amazing. It gave me everything as a soccer player, as a person, and as a family man. I’ll always remember this experience with love. My heart is here and I’m an NYCFC supporter forever.
With today’s announcement, no one from NYCFC’s first ever starting XI remains playing for the club. Only one player from that season remains on the roster: Tommy McNamara. pic.twitter.com/5KtEF7phAr
— NYCFC Nation (@NYCFCNation) November 28, 2018
News should not come as a complete surprise to NYCFC Nation fans as we were the first to reveal the rumor back on July 31st. In which I also mention him leaving to China or Japan to join Andrés Iniesta and Fernando Torres. Listen below. (minutes 23 – 27)
If David Villa does make a move to Japan the easiest transition would be to the Yokohama F. Marinos in which City Football Group are minority shareholders of since May 2014.
That still does not make it any easier to part with a player like David Villa. A player who has done so much for the club and city. He will truly be missed. Villa has set a new standard for what it means to be an MLS Designated Player.
As NYCFC.com said “it’s not goodbye, but see you soon… #VillaForever”
Note that NYCFC will be holding a special farewell event for City Members to pay tribute to David in New York City on Monday December 3. Members, keep watching your inboxes for information on how to attend and show your love to David on social media using the #VillaForever hashtag.