The In­ter­view - David Villa

Re­called to the Spain squad at 35, the brief Mel­bourne City ace is thriv­ing in MLS with Pa­trick Vieira

Australian Four Four Two - - CONTENTS -

You have been in great form and have a good chance of winning this sea­son’s Golden Boot in MLS. How dif­fer­ent is scor­ing on the other side of the At­lantic com­pared to Spain?

It is pretty much the same who­ever you play for – I al­ways do what I’m asked, which is scor­ing goals. It’s my job. I’m happy with life at New York City FC. With the help from my team-mates and the coach, Pa­trick Vieira, I can con­tinue to play at a high level.

What’s it been like play­ing for Vieira at NYCFC?

He’s got a great knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing of the game and a great per­son­al­ity, too. Ev­ery­body in the team likes him. He al­ways gives the play­ers lots of in­for­ma­tion be­fore matches and he’ll study the games all of the time. He is at the club seven days a week, even on a Sun­day. He’s got a great fu­ture as a man­ager in front of him and I be­lieve he will be very suc­cess­ful for many years to come.

Do you ever talk about the days when you would line up against each other for Spain and France?

Of course. Re­cently we talked about France against Spain in the last 16 of the 2006 World Cup. Both of us scored in that match, but France won and went all the way to the fi­nal, so he liked brag­ging about that a lit­tle bit! But it’s no prob­lem – we both won the World Cup and the Euros, so we’re very happy.

What is New York like as a city?

My fam­ily loves it here and I love it too, but I came here to play foot­ball first and fore­most. It’s a me­trop­o­lis but I’ve al­ways played in large cities, so it was not too big an ad­just­ment.

Do you ever get recog­nised by fans?

Oc­ca­sion­ally I do, but so what? Fans never bother me. Some­times they will want to take a pho­to­graph or ask me to sign some­thing, which I will al­ways do. I haven’t got a prob­lem with that. In life it’s very im­por­tant to ap­pre­ci­ate other peo­ple, es­pe­cially when they’re be­ing friendly to you. When­ever they stop me on the streets and smile or say ‘Hi’, I’m happy – it makes me feel good and hope­fully they feel good too.

What do you think about the other type of ‘foot­ball’ played in Amer­ica?

I quite like Amer­i­can foot­ball. I went to a New York Gi­ants game once and had a great time. I’m also a fan of base­ball. Peo­ple were pretty shocked when Thierry Henry was pic­tured us­ing the sub­way on his way to train­ing. Have you done that since ar­riv­ing? Of course, I do it all the time! Within the city I never use a car – it makes no sense be­cause the traf­fic is re­ally bad. I’ll al­ways hop on the sub­way. Your NYCFC team-mate An­drea Pirlo is a fash­ion icon. Does he of­fer tips? No, I have my own style! Ev­ery Ital­ian man I know loves clothes, so An­drea is no dif­fer­ent. He knows every­thing about fash­ion, but I don’t re­ally care very much about it so un­for­tu­nately he can’t help me too much. [ Laughs] But it’s been amaz­ing to go through this ex­pe­ri­ence in New York with him, both on and off the pitch. He can pass the ball like no one else and he’s also an amaz­ing guy. I love spend­ing time with him, be­cause it is never bor­ing.

Did you have fun play­ing along­side Frank Lam­pard last sea­son as well?

I liked Frank a lot. He was such a nice guy. He suf­fered a lot with in­juries but when­ever he played, he was al­ways amaz­ing. All the New York fans re­ally loved him.

What will you do when you re­tire?

I have not made up my mind yet and don’t have a spe­cific plan – I just live day by day and try to play foot­ball at the high­est level. I feel good and am not think­ing of re­tir­ing. I’m still scor­ing goals and hope­fully I can win a tro­phy while I’m in New York. I be­lieve I have got a few more years of ahead of me.

“VIEIRA HAS A GREAT KNOWL­EDGE OF THE GAME AND IS AT THE CLUB SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. HE’LL BE A VERY SUC­CESS­FUL MAN­AGER”

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