David Villa has announced he is set to retire from football and the world is nothing but grateful to the Spaniard for his exemplary performances and dedication to every team he played for. Sporting Gijon, Zaragoza, Valencia, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, New York City FC, Melbourne City FC and Vissel Kobe - so many clubs and continents and one man to experience them all; the former Spanish attacker was also the first player to hit 50 goals for his country and bagged the prestigious silver boot at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, along with a FIFPRO World 11 place that year. Here are three of the many, many qualities El Guaje has that made him a cut above the rest:
What most attackers can’t do with one foot, Villa used to do with two. Shoot, dribble, make cutting passes and score goals - everything with twin precision and power. He was one of the most feared marksmen in the world and his ambidexterity greatly added to that. Today, not many players possess this ability to use both feet equally well. Football academies should really train their young starlets for ambidexterity because there’s no doubt that one day it will definitely bear fruit.
Because of his ambidexterity, he could slot into any position the team demanded. A supporting forward in a 4-4-2, a left/right winger or even a center forward in a 4-3-3, not to forget attacking midfielder supplying quality passes. Such was the range of this great player he was a star in any team he played. To sum up his superiority as a versatile player, here is what Johan Cruyff once said about him: “Villa is not only there to finish plays. Villa is synonymous with depth. It means always being ready to open passing lanes, to draw defenders and thus free space for others.”
Tremendous work rate and passion
While his main task was to create and score goals, David Villa was also famed for his exemplary work rate to snatch the ball from opponents. His movement on and off the ball made him a tough presence on the field. Villa wasn’t as physically as strong as others but that didn’t bother him while making a run for the ball.
Also, whichever team he represented, he ushered in passion and dedication for the team as well as the game. Look at the way he celebrated his victories, look at the way he kissed the team crest as he scored, look at the way he represented so many teams yet there isn’t one fanbase that dislikes him. They all hold him in the highest of regards and so do we.
While we may no longer see him on the pitch, we will definitely miss him, or at least a part of him, when a player exhibits one of his many qualities. Until then, happy retirement, legend. You will always be missed.