David Villa's current international teammate Juanfran has revealed that he did his best to keep the MLS bound striker at Atletico Madrid before Villa confirmed he would be joining New York City FC.
The Spanish right back played alongside Villa last season as Atletico Madrid won La Liga and came within a minute of beating their city rivals Real Madrid to the Champions League before losing in extra time.
It is clear that the lethal striker left an impression on the defender during this time with Juanfran admitting to reporters today that he had tried to convince him to stay prior to Villa's decision to join MLS' newest franchise, NYCFC:
"For MLS to have Villa coming is extraordinary," the 29-year-old explains in the video above.
"I have a very good relationship with him but haven't managed to convince him to stay another year at Atletico."
Despite his disappointment that Villa will not line up with his at domestic level in the future, Juanfran was sure that Villa would go on to light up Major League Soccer:
"It will be a challenge for him and I am sure he will be one of the best players in the League or the best," he explained whilst on Spanish international duty ahead of the World Cup.
Villa this week became the New York franchise's first ever signing and it is expected that he will be followed by a number of other high profile names as the team partly owned by MLB's New York Yankees and EPL side Manchester City look to develop ahead of their first game in 2015.