Brown - Dark
Brown - Dark
Langreo, Asturias, Spain
Claim to Fame
David Villa Sánchez (born 3 December 1981) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a striker for American club New York City FC. He is nicknamed El Guaje (The Kid in Asturian) because as a youngster he frequently played football with children much older than him.
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Profile Bio Text
David Villa Sánchez (born 3 December 1981), nicknamed El Guaje (The Kid in Asturian) is a Spanish footballer, who currently plays as a striker for Valencia CF and Spain.
He started his career with Sporting de Gijón and progressed through their youth ranks and B-team. He made his professional debut in 2000 in Spain`s Segunda División. He moved to Real Zaragoza after two seasons, leaving Gijón with a total of 38 goals and 80 appearances. He made his La Liga debut at Zaragoza and the following two seasons were successful ones, scoring 31 goals in 73 appearances and winning the Copa del Rey and Supercopa de España, his first senior honours. He joined his current club Valencia in 2005 for a transfer fee of €12 million. He was the second highest scorer in La Liga season 2005–06 with 25 goals, and won the Copa del Rey for a second time in the 2007–08 season.
Villa plays as a Spanish international and made his debut for the team against San Marino in 2005. He has since participated in two major tournaments; 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2008. He scored three goals at the 2006 World Cup and was top scorer at Euro 2008 with four goals despite missing two games including the final, which Spain won. He is the fifth top scorer of all time for Spain—of those ranking above him, only Raúl González and Fernando Morientes are still currently playing.
Childhood and early career
David Villa was born on 3 December 1981 in Tuilla, a small village in Langreo, Asturias, a region in northern Spain. The son of a miner, his professional career was put in jeopardy at the age of four when he was left limp after suffering a severe fracture to his femur, but thanks to a non-invasive approach he was able to make a complete recovery.
Villa admitted that he came close to giving up football at the age of 14 after growing disillusioned and falling out with his coach. However, thanks to his parents encouragement, he carried on pursuing his dream and realised his talent could earn him a living.
"In those days I was a nobody, not earning a penny and after being made to sit on the bench all season I just wanted to get away and play with my friends" he said. "But my dad always supported me and cheered me up until my career turned round."
He began his footballing career at UP Langreo. Due to an injury that he suffered to his right leg he began to work on strengthening his left leg and ultimately became an ambidextrous footballer. When he turned 17 he joined the Mareo football school.
Villa was receiving interest from many Asturian teams, however one of the province`s bigger teams, Real Oviedo, did not show any interest and declared that they did not believe he had sufficient potential He subsequently got his professional breakthrough at his local club Sporting de Gijón, following in the footsteps of his childhood idol Quini. He made his first-team debut in the 2000 – 01 season after rising through the teams youth ranks and B-team. The next season he was a first team regular, scoring 18 league goals, and 20 the next season.
After scoring 40 goals in just three seasons at Gijón, he got his chance in Spain`s top-flight La Liga, when promoted Real Zaragoza bought him in the summer of 2003. He had no trouble adapting to the step up in class and scored 17 times in his first season at Zaragoza. Villa led Zaragoza to a Copa del Rey victory scoring a crucial goal against Real Madrid. Soon after he earned his first international call-up and cap which resulted in Zaragoza fans inventing the football chant "illa illa illa, Villa maravilla" which is a play on the words "Villa" and "maravilla" which can be translated into marvel, wonderful, to work wonders (in verbal form), or great.
David Villa made his big move to one of Spanish football`s heavyweights as Valencia parted with €12 million (£8.2 million) to secure his services in the summer of 2005.
In the 2005-06 season, he scored 25 goals in 35 league matches for Valencia, to finish 1 goal behind the league`s top scorer Samuel Eto`o of Barcelona. Villa scored a remarkable goal against Deportivo La Coruna at the Riazor, hitting the ball from the half way line it sailed over the keepers head and into the net. He scored his first hat-trick for Valencia against Athletic Bilbao at San Mamés in La Liga on the 23 April 2006. Villa managed the hat trick in just over 5 minutes (80th to the 85th minute) making it one of the quickest hat-tricks ever recorded. Valencia won that game 0-3.
In October, 2006 he was included among the 50 nominees for the Ballon d`Or (often referred to as the European Footballer of the Year Award).
David Villa converting a penalty against Sevilla FC
Villa`s form continued into the 2006–07 season, with the striker forming a prolific partnership up front with former Real Madrid star Fernando Morientes. Together, Villa and Morientes netted around 40 goals in all competit
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