David Villa joins New York City FC as club’s first ever signing

David Villa NYCFC

A first impression goes a long way in New York City, and if NYCFC’s first roster signing is any indication, they have taken a proper step forward.

The franchise announced Monday morning the signing of its first-ever player — Spanish international and World Cup winner David Villa. The club confirmation ends weeks of speculation connecting NYCFC with one of Spain’s most celebrated strikers.

“Throughout my career I’ve always tried to keep pushing myself to achieve new targets and this represents another important goal for me,” said David Villa said in a club statement. “I want to try and help MLS continue to grow, through playing, working hard, scoring goals, and at the same time try to make New York City FC become the best team in the league.

“It’s a real honor that the people who have formed the club have focused their attention on me. I’m keen to do the best I can, take on board that extra responsibility and prove my worth by repaying the confidence they have shown in me.”

The 32-year-old forward leaves La Liga champion Atletico Madrid to join the fledgling franchise, signing a new three-year deal. In a farewell video to Atleti fans on the club website, Villa calls the offer one he “couldn’t refuse.”

For that, NYCFC fans and management are grateful.

“This is a historic and exciting moment for the City family and the building of New York City Football Club,” said City CEO Ferran Soriano. “I know David really well; he is one of the best footballers in the world, a true winner and in an outstanding moment of his career. I’m sure New Yorkers will enjoy watching him play for their city.”

“David Villa is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished soccer players and best strikers in the world,” added Jason Kreis, Head Coach, New York City FC. “I couldn’t be happier that we have acquired such an amazing talent as our first-ever signing. David will be a shining example of what it will mean to be a New York City player and a leader for us on and off the field. He is hard working, he is a natural competitor, he is a winner at heart, and he is a terrific man. David has checked every box for what we were looking for in our first signing and it is a great day to be a member of this growing family of a club.”

Villa brings with him one of the most impressive resumes in world soccer. The Spanish international is a World Cup winner, a three-time La Liga Champion, a UEFA champion, European champion and is also Spain’s all-time leading goal scorer (56 goals, 94 caps).

He will join Spain for this year’s World Cup. What he will do on the club level between now and March 2015 is still up in the air.