Former Spain and Barcelona forward David Villa on Wednesday announced that he would retire from professional football once the current J-League finishes.
The 37-year-old has played for Japanese side Vissel Kobe this year and there are three league matches remaining for the team before an Emperor's Cup semi-final slated to be played in December this year. "I have been thinking about this for a long time. This is the result of discussions I had with my family and people around me. I wanted to retire from football, not be forced to retire from football," Goal.com quoted Villa as saying.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup winner took to Twitter to express that he wants to win the Emperor's Cup with the Japanese side.
"It is my objective to put the cherry on top by winning the Emperor's Cup with @visselkobe on January 1st. From then on, I will continue to enjoy football through all the projects that we're currently developing with DV7 group. Thank you for all the love," Villa tweeted.
Villa has represented Sporting Gijon, Zaragoza, Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in the domestic circuit.
Across his club career, Villa went on to win three La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys. He also won the Champions League with Barcelona in 2011.
The forward then joined Major League Soccer (MLS) side New York City in 2015. He spent four seasons at the club and then went on to join Kobe earlier this year.
For Spain, Villa took the field 98 times and managed to win the Euro 2008 and FIFA World Cup 2010.