The greatest XI of David Villa's teammates in the wake of his retirement

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A legend of the beautiful game has hung up his boots.

David Villa called time on his career on Monday morning after an astonishing career that brought success with Valencia, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Spain.

After spending the last five years unwinding his career with New York City FC and Vissel Kobe, Spain's all-time record scorer has confirmed that he will retire at the end of the J-League season.

And in honour of one of the greatest players of the modern era, we've decided to look at all the stars that Villa has shared a dressing room with across his illustrious career.

With countless World Cup and Champions League winners to choose from, it was an incredibly tough task but we've finally settled on the ultimate XI of Villa teammates.

The David Villa XI

Their overall careers and performances alongside Villa have both been considered, while we've also tried to give a varied representation of Villa's different clubs - check out the final side down below:

GK - Iker Casillas

One of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, Casillas was the man between the sticks for 75 of Villa's caps for Spain and captained La Roja to World Cup glory in 2010. 

Victor Valdes and Thibaut Courtois are both worthy of honourable mentions, but they're not a patch on Casillas and a trophy cabinet featuring over 20 major honours.

Spain's goalkeeper Iker Casillas (R) hug

CB - Gerard Pique

Villa has played with an abundance of top central defenders throughout his career, so it's credit to Pique that he comes striding into the team no questions asked.

Pique transformed himself from a Manchester United reject to Barcelona superstar in the space of a few months and played an integral role in the double-winning team of 2011.

FC Barcelona's David Villa (L) chats wit

CB - Diego Godin

The only Atletico Madrid player in this team, Villa shared a dressing room with some top players at the Vicente Calderon Stadium but none of them could hold a candle to Godin.

The Uruguayan was an absolute colossus at the back as Villa won the La Liga title during his solitary season in the Spanish capital.

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CB - Carles Puyol

When we said Villa played with some top centre-backs, we weren't kidding and deploying three of them is a risk worth taking to ensure Puyol is given the call-up.

If you're wondering where Sergio Ramos is lurking, we've reluctantly snubbed the Real Madrid man as his best displays with Villa came at right-back and someone in that position just edges him out...

Spanish forward David Villa (R) celebrat

RWB - Dani Alves

Just because we're playing three centre-backs doesn't mean we're missing out the world-class wide men. 

What Alves achieved from the right-back position under Pep Guardiola was simply revolutionary and according to Transfermarkt, he even combined with Villa for six Barcelona goals along the way.

Barcelona's forward David Villa (R) and

CM - Andres Iniesta

Playing for the Spanish national team and the country's biggest clubs meant that few players got more out of that golden era than Villa - and Iniesta was arguably his greatest teammate of all.

The superhuman midfielder won the Champions League, La Liga, Copa del Rey, European Championships and World Cup with Villa leading the line just in front of him.

Spain's forward David Villa (L) stands n

CM - Andrea Pirlo

Trust us when we say leaving out Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas and Xabi Alonso was a seriously tough decision, but Pirlo is one of the classiest operators that football has ever seen.

Our only regret is that Villa never got to play with his fellow World Cup winner during his prime. Over 50 appearances and six goal involvements shared is more than enough for us, though.

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CM - Xavi

It's staggering the amount of times that Iniesta and Xavi feature in our XI features, but any player - like Villa - who has crossed paths with these two will tell you everything you need to know.

Xavi was playing football in another dimension during Villa's pomp at Barcelona and Spain and would surely have won a Ballon d'Or if it wasn't for another player on this list.

Barcelona's midfielder Xavi Hernandez (L

LWB - Jordi Alba

Sneaking his way into the final wide position is a player that featured alongside Villa for Valencia, Spain and Barcelona across almost 100 appearances.

Alba might not be the most talented player on this list and 'only' won a La Liga title alongside his retiring compatriot, but Villa has never had the pleasure of playing with a better left-back.

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CAM - David Silva

Even before we sink our teeth in Silva's astonishing talent, the City man is worthy of inclusion for sharing the pitch with Villa on 181 occasions alone.

Silva was an efficient supply line for Villa during their early days at Valencia and after collaborating beyond 2010 with the national team, they finishing with a total of 24 mutual goal involvements.

Valencia's midfielder David Silva (R) ce

ST - Lionel Messi

If you're scared by how much this team is relying on an abundance of central midfielders and defenders, calm yourself with the sight of this one-man attack.

Sure, we could have included players like Fernando Torres, Diego Costa or even Pedro, but why settle for any of those when you can pick the greatest in history?

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