Goal.com Player Profile: David Villa

Goal.com profiles the first big transfer capture in the off-season, Barcelona's new hitman...

Name: David Villa Sanchez
Age: 28
Nationality: Spanish
Height: 1.75 metres
Weight: 69 kg
Position: Forward

El Guaje’s Early Days

David Villa began his youth career at Langreo, his hometown team. At nine years old, he underwent a trial with Real Oviedo, who rejected him because of his small physical stature. As a result, he remained at Langreo until he was 17 before joining Sporting Gijon’s B team. After two seasons, he was promoted to the Sporting senior side, where he netted a total of 38 goals in 80 appearances in two years in the Segunda Division.

Development At Zaragoza

Sporting’s poor economic state forced the club to sell their young star and Villa made the leap to the Primera Division when he joined Real Zaragoza in 2003 for €3 million. He wasted no time settling in to Spain’s top flight, scoring 17 goals in his first season and another 15 the next. He also picked up the Copa del Rey in 2004 when the Aragons beat Real Madrid in the final.

Valencia’s Next Superstar

Villa’s outstanding performances for Zaragoza caught the attention of Valencia and he eventually earned a move to the Mestalla in the summer of 2005 for a tidy sum of €12m. ‘El Guaje’ continued his consistent scoring form at Los Che and he soon became one of the top marksmen in Europe.

He formed a lethal partnership with David Silva and the duo would shoot to prominence after some dazzling performances against the likes of Chelsea and Inter on the biggest stage of all, the Champions League. He consistently broke the 20-goal a season mark in all competitive club games and after a triumphant Euro 2008 outing with Spain, he became one of the most sought-after strikers in the world.

Spain’s No. 7

Villa’s form isn’t restricted to club football. He is equally as lethal with the Spanish national team, making his debut in 2005 when he was still at Zaragoza. His inclusion in La Furia Roja’s 2006 World Cup squad marked his arrival on the international stage, but it was at Euro 2008 in Austria/Switzerland that really established him as a global superstar when he helped his country win their first trophy in 44 years and finished the tournament as the Golden Boot Winner with four goals in four games.

He is currently Spain’s second all-time leading goalscorer with 36 goals, just eight behind Raul.

Key Qualities

David Villa is an all-round forward, but undoubtedly his best quality is his eye for goal. He is a deadly finisher in front of goal, evidenced by his goal ratio regardless of who he plays for. He is a striker with great mobility and speed, he can score from direct free-kicks and he wears his heart on his sleeve every time he takes to the pitch.

Villa is ranked 6th in the Castrol Rankings.

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