Spain and Barcelona great David Villa has announced he will retire from professional football at the end of the year.
Villa, who turns 38 next month, will retire at the end of Vissel Kobe's season, he announced during a news conference on Wednesday.
The forward has scored 12 goals in 26 J.League games for Vissel Kobe, the club he joined after a spell with New York City.
"Thank you for an outstanding career, @Guaje7Villa," Vissel Kobe wrote on Twitter, the club confirming on their website that Villa would retire at season's end.
After 19 years as a professional, I have decided to retire from playing football at the end of this season. Thank you to all the teams, coaches and teammates that have allowed me to enjoy this dreamed career. Thank you to my family, that has always been there to support me. pic.twitter.com/E82vb3tNwT— David Villa (@Guaje7Villa) November 13, 2019
Villa enjoyed a fine career, starring with Sporting Gijon before earning a move to Real Zaragoza, and a switch to Valencia followed.
After scoring more than 100 goals for Valencia, Villa joined Barcelona for three seasons – winning two LaLiga titles and a Champions League – before moving to Atletico Madrid.
Villa later spent four seasons with New York City and a brief spell at Melbourne City before heading to Japan.
He also played 98 games for Spain, winning Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, and holds the record for most goals for the nation with 59.
Villa won the Golden Boot at Euro 2008, while he netted five times at the 2010 World Cup.
It was confirmed on Tuesday that Villa is a lead investor in Queensboro FC, who are set to play in the USL Championship beginning in 2021.