David Villa explains why he walked away from Barcelona in 2013
- Villa joined Barcelona in 2010 for a fee believed to be in the region of 40 million.
Former Barcelona and Spain striker David Villa recently explained the reasons behind his sudden exit from the Camp Nou in the summer of 2013. The World Cup and European Championships winner left Barcelona for Atletico Madrid in 2013, where he played a leading role as Los Rojiblancos won the La Liga and fought all the way to the finals of the Champions League.
"I decided to leave Barcelona to have a more important role at another club. I was playing less and less and the new players that were coming in were better than me," Villa was quoted as saying by Catalan publication Sport after a trip home to Spain this week.
Villa further went on to say that he would not have signed for the Catalan giants himself had Valencia not needed the money from his sale to balance their finances.
"If Valencia hadn't needed the money, I would have stayed at the club. I had a long-term contract."
After catching the attention of numerous clubs following some excellent performances for Sporting Gijon and Real Zaragoza, Valencia is where Villa truly made his mark. At the peak of his powers, Villa scored 129 goals in just 225 appearances during his time at the Mestalla; but had only a Copa Del Ray to show for his efforts.
Joining Barcelona in 2010 for a fee believed to be in the region of €40 million, he won the Champions League in his first season with the Blaugrana, while also winning two La Liga titles, two Supercopa de Espana’s, a Copa Del Ray, a FIFA Club World Cup, and a UEFA Super Cup.
However, a broken leg during his second season saw him struggle to re-establish himself in the team once he’d made his return; which eventually paved for his €5 million move to the Atleti in 2013.
He joined the newly formed New York City FC in 2015, keeping himself fit before the start of that year's Major League Soccer season with a loan spell at Melbourne City in Australia during the MLS off-season.
He’s enjoyed a strong start to his career in the States, already scoring 40 goals in just 60 appearances for his club. Villa’s form saw him linked with a short-term move back to Spain during the MLS break period, with former clubs Valencia and Sporting Gijon touted as possible destinations. According to the player himself, though, there is no foundation in the rumours and his future remains in the United States.
He said: "I like to live in reality, not in a fantasy, and the reality is that I have another year on my contract with New York City. On Jan. 23 I will be back in for preseason come what may."