Before David Villa joins New York City FC for the 2015 MLS season, the Spanish striker will spend some time down under.
Melbourne City FC—New York and Manchester City's sister club—announced in a press release on Thursday that the 32-year-old will join the A-League side for a short guest stint late in 2014.
Ferran Soriano, CEO of the City Football Group, talked about the massive addition:
We are very proud to have David Villa as part of the City family and are thrilled to announce he will play for Melbourne City FC in the Hyundai A-League this season. The sports fans of Melbourne can look forward to seeing one of the best players in world football representing their city when David brings his rare talents to AAMI Park later this year.
Villa, who tallied 13 goals and four assists in 36 La Liga appearances (32 starts) for a resurgent Atletico Madrid squad this past season, is going to be a busy man.
In June and July, Spain's all-time leading scorer will suit up for La Roja for his third World Cup. Interestingly enough, he will face Australia during Group B play. The Socceroos don't figure to make much noise in a loaded group, but at least they'll get a preview of their newest domestic star.
After that, Villa will play for Melbourne City until December before making his way to New York for the start of the team's inaugural MLS season in February.
He talked about his decision:
It's very good for me in every sense. From a football point of view it's the opportunity to play in a new league in a different country, and of course it will be ideal for me to get some competitive football in the period before the MLS season gets under way. I'm sure that playing for Melbourne City FC will be a marvelous experience.
As PTA Football noted, this is a huge addition for a squad that finished dead last in the A-League last season:
For Melbourne City, who are looking for a fresh beginning after being bought out by City Football Group and rebranded away from the Melbourne Heart, Villa gives them a potentially transcendent talent. He is still very much full of class and should get them off to a good start to the 2014-15 season.
As for Villa, this stint should help him remain in form before he makes his venture into the MLS, making this essentially a win-win for everyone involved.
Except for the defenders in Australia, who now must attempt to cover the dynamic striker, of course.