David Villa: Former Spain and Barcelona star announces retirement from football aged 37

Spain v Italy - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

David Villa has announced he is retiring from football at the end of the season.

The former Spain and Barcelona forward will hang up his boots at the end of Vissel Kobe's season, he announced at a press conference on Wednesday.

“I’ve been thinking about this for a long time," Villa said. "This is the result of discussions I had with my family and people around me.

"I wanted to retire from football, not be forced to retire from football."

Villa has enjoyed a stellar career in football, scoring 376 goals in 752 games across his club career and enjoying great success on the international stage.

He was a part of Spain's World Cup triumph in 2010 and won the Golden Boot as he helped La Roja win the European Championship in 2008.

After leaving Barcelona in 2013, where he won two La Liga titles and the Champions League, Villa joined Atletico Madrid, where he added another La Liga title.

FC Barcelona v FC Porto -  UEFA Super Cup

Villa, 37, closed out his career at Melbourne City, New York City and Vissel Kobe.

Vissel Kobe have three league games remaining before an Emperor's Cup semi-final in late December, which Villa intends on playing in.

"It is my objective to put the cherry on top by winning the Emperor’s Cup with Vissel Kobe on January 1," he said on Twitter.

"From then on, I will continue to enjoy football through all the projects that we’re currently developing with DV7 group. Thank you for all the love."

The forward will now lead new United States franchise Queensboro FC, where he is a lead investor.

New York-based Queensboro FC will play in the USL Championship, the second tier of US football, from 2021.

“I lived and played in New York for four years. I know what a special place Queens is,” Villa said.

“I love the cultures, the food, the people and their passion for life and, of course, soccer.

"There is no other place like it in the world. It’s a dream to help build this football club in Queens and I couldn’t choose a better location.

"We’ve worked for many years on this. The opportunity to start a brand new team in a city like New York, in a borough like Queens, where the people are as passionate about soccer as I am, is huge!

"I'm very happy with my career. I'm very proud. I have loved this sport from the beginning of my life. I have tried to do my best to bring this sport everywhere. And the future now is Queens."

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