offpitch | 2016-12-02
David Villa: ‘The 5-0 match was the best one in my career’
The Spaniard thinks Barça are favorites for the upcoming Clásico and reveals he’s very happy in New York City
David Villa (Tuilla, 1981) travels around the globe managing his football academies but also keeps in touch with La Liga title race and his Asturian roots. El Guaje sat down with Sport and talked about the Clásico, his best memories with the Barça jersey and the current state of his career.
What’s on your mind in the week previous El Clásico?
The 5-0, one of the best matches, not only in an individual level but collective too. It was my first Clásico, my debut in a Barça-Madrid, with two great teams at the top of the table. To sense that magnitude...if I had dreamt a first perfect Clásico, I wouldn’t have imagined such an ideal match like that one. It was marvelous.
And how do you foresee this Saturday’s Clásico?
I think Barça depends a lot on this Clásico to overcome the slump. If they win, it could be the turning point. In football, you think in the short term future a lot.
How do you explain the team’s struggles in San Sebastián, Málaga or Manchester
During the season all the squads go through rough patches and Barça is experiencing one right now. But I believe they’re favorites against Madrid because they’re the locals.
Are you surprised by the bad game displayed against Real Sociedad?
Football is complicated. I’ve been in that spot and every time you play, it’s the match of their lives for the opponents, everybody wants to beat Barça. And the rivals also count, for example, Real Sociedad have been playing great games in the last months, beating teams like Atlético de Madrid. Football is like that.
According to your experience, do you understand what Paco Alcácer is going through right now?
Absolutely, I’ve been there. Playing in Barça is very difficult, it’s a privilege for a few selected ones. The team’s attacking line is amazing and the pressure is so high that it’s not enough to score a brace in a match because the demands are very high in the next match. Paco is young, he has the club’s confidence and more importantly, the coach’s, whom only has praising words for him in the press conferences.
I don’t know if you know him and have spoken with him recently.
I don’t know him personally. When I was in Valencia, he must have had around 16 years old and a lot of people talked about him in Mestalla.
And how are you these days?
I’m on my holidays. On one hand, I try to spend some time to the schools we’re opening all around the world. I was in Santo Domingo last week, checking that everything is running smoothly in the academy we’re opening next January. And next week we’re going to Hong Kong, to visit the academy we opened six months ago and Korea, where possibly we’ll be starting a new one. And when the girls finish the school in New York, we’ll spend the Holidays in Asturias to visit the academies in there and in Valencia.
It has been said that Sporting offered you to play with them during the MLS break, is that true?
There was nothing, not even an inquiry. I’m New York City FC captain, I’ve played almost every match this season and have been the top striker...it doesn’t make any sense for the club to allow me that nor for me because I have a certain age and many career years and I need to rest. Neither any club would want to sign me when I’m starting the preseason in New York in January 21st.
Are pleased with these two years in the United States?
Yes, I found what I was looking for: to keep competing, to battle for important things, play in a club with a huge fan base, in a league which brings much excitement and demands you to perform...I’m very pleased.
And regarding the results?
The last season’s outcome is very good. The end wasn’t as we expected, we wanted to be more competitive in the playoff against Toronto. But we’re a new team, with just two seasons under our belts and you don’t know how difficult it is for the new clubs to achieve something here. Remember that in our first season, we didn’t make the top six in any given moment. We have big steps left to take on but the growth of the squad this year has been amazing.