New York City striker David Villa has revealed the real reason for his departure from Barcelona in 2013.
During an interview with Sport in New York, the Spaniard disclosed that a lack of playing time at the Camp Nou provoked a move away from the La Liga giants to Atletico Madrid.
Having lost his place in the starting line-up, Villa grew sceptical of his chances under then manager Pep Guardiola and decided it was best to seek pastures new.
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According to Goal, he said: "I just decided to leave because I had lost my starting spot.
"I have always tried to be realistic about where I am, where I can go, I lost my place and I was not playing as much for technical reasons.
"The easy path would have been staying at Barcelona, to keep winning titles, prestige and reputation, but I wanted to be on the pitch. I looked for a way out."
Villa joined the Catalans from Valencia in 2010 for £35 million, scoring 33 goals in 77 league outings during his three-year stay.
The striker suffered a broken leg during his second season at Barcelona, which Villa claims was the worst point in his career.
"I have had a lot of luck [with injuries], but that was very serious. I suffered with that injury, I learned a lot, when you are not used to think it is easier.
"I did not feel like a footballer because I went to games but I was in the dressing room or the stands."
After his third season, Villa decided to part ways with the La Liga champions and join league rivals Atletico in a cut-price deal worth £4.4 million, scoring 15 goals in all competitions at the Vicente Calderon.
The former Spain international has since joined New York City, becoming captain and scoring 18 goals in 30 league appearances.