Melbourne City FC have announced that David Villa will be arriving in Australia for the official launch of the Hyundai A-League season in Melbourne on Tuesday 7 October 2014.
Joining Melbourne City FC from New York City FC, the timing of Villa’s arrival ensures he will be able to begin training with the squad in advance of the commencement of the season.
The launch event, which will include four of the 10 Hyundai A-League clubs, will be held at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.
Villa said he was looking forward to joining his Melbourne City FC teammates and playing his first matches in the Hyundai A-League.
"The overall goal is to help the team perform well while I am there, support the Melbourne City FC team, build relationships, enjoy the style of football the league [in Australia] has to offer and, obviously, I want to do my job well and help Melbourne City to win as many games as possible,” Villa said.
“From what I have heard, my arrival has generated a lot of high expectations for the club and I hope that I can meet them - and that I can help the players, the coach and the entire team to perform well this season. Hopefully, I’ll be able to play at my best level in order to help the team.”
Villa will commence training with the rest of the 22-man Melbourne City FC squad immediately after his arrival. From that point he will be available for selection.
John van’t Schip, Head Coach of Melbourne City FC, said: “It’s great that David will be arriving in Australia in advance of the season commencing.
“We are looking forward to welcoming him to the Melbourne City FC squad and having him train with the group at the earliest opportunity.”
Scott Munn, CEO of Melbourne City FC, said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming David Villa to Melbourne City FC and are confident that his time in Australia will make an important contribution to both our Club and the growth of the Hyundai A-League.”
David Gallop, CEO of Football Federation Australia, said: "David Villa's arrival in Australia to play for Melbourne City is another exciting chapter in the growth of the Hyundai A-League. Football fans all over Australia look forward to seeing a true global star play a part in the continuing development of the A-League.”
The Hyundai A-League kicks off on Friday 10 October and Melbourne City FC plays its first game on Saturday 11 Octoberagainst Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.
Villa will wear squad number 9 for Melbourne City FC.
Melbourne City FC memberships are available at membership.melbournecityfc.com.au.
David Villa Career Highlights:
• David became the first player to score 50 goals for his national team Spain
• All-time leading goal scorer for the Spanish National Team
• Won the World Cup with Spain in 2010 scoring 5 goals and was top goal scorer with 4 goals as Spain won the European Championships in 2008
• He has been named in the Spain squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
• Won two La Liga titles with Barcelona in 2010/11 and 2012/13 and again with Atlético Madrid in 2013/14
• Won the UEFA Champions league with Barcelona in 2010/2011
Pronunciation: Dah-vid Vee-Ah
DOB: 3 December 1981 (32)
Place of Birth: Langreo, Spain
Previous Clubs: Atlético Madrid, FC Barcelona, Valencia, Real Zaragoza, Sporting Gijon