Saturday, December 24, 2011

David Villa

David Villa Sánchez (born 3 December 1981), nicknamed El Guaje (Asturian: The Kid), is a Spanish footballer who currently plays as a striker for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national football team. He can also operate as a winger.

Despite sustaining a serious injury as a child, he started his professional career with Sporting de Gijón. He moved to Real Zaragoza after two seasons, where he made his La Liga début, winning his first senior honours—the Copa del Rey and Supercopa de España. He joined Valencia CF in 2005 for a transfer fee of €12 million and was part of the Valencia team that won the Copa del Rey in the 2007–08 season. In 2010 he moved to FC Barcelona for €40 million where he won his first La Liga and UEFA Champions League titles.

Villa made his international début in 2005. He has since participated in three major tournaments, becoming an integral member of the Spain teams that won Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. He scored three goals at the 2006 World Cup, was the top scorer at Euro 2008 and earned the Silver Boot at the 2010 World Cup. He is the first Spanish player to ever reach 50 international goals and is Spain's all-time top goalscorer, having has also scored more World Cup goals than any other player in Spain's history in the process. The goals-to-games ratio he has achieved for the national team has not been matched by any player since Alfredo Di Stéfano.

Childhood and early career
Villa was born in Tuilla, a small village in Langreo, Asturias, a region in northern Spain, the son of José Manuel Villa, a miner. When Villa was four, his chances of becoming a footballer were put in jeopardy when he suffered a fracture to the femur in his right leg, but made a complete recovery. Due to the injury, he and his father worked on strengthening his left leg and Villa ultimately became ambidextrous. He recalls his father being consistently supportive: "He would be there throwing me the ball over and over, making me kick it with my left leg when my right was in plaster after breaking it, I was four. I can barely remember a single training session when my dad wasn't there. I have never been alone on a football pitch."

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 persisted in pursuing his dream, realising 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 went on to begin his footballing career at UP Langreo and when he turned 17 he joined the Mareo football school.

Succeeding Raúl as Spain's number 7
The Spanish media has often compared Villa with Raúl, to the point where Villa was accused of taking the #7 jersey away from the then-Real Madrid player. In March 2009, Villa spoke out saying, "I have not taken anything away from anybody, I was simply playing well for my club and the national coach gave me an opportunity. Too much has been said about the number issue. I’m not looking to cause any controversy. In fact, Raúl and I were in the national squad together in the past. I haven’t forced anybody out." When questioned on whether the whole uproar created over Raúl's omission was affecting him personally, he said, "I’ve never liked it because I think it has been damaging for the both of us. We’ve always got on well together whenever we’ve met up for international duty, so I’m not concerned. I just work hard for myself. All I want is to be in the squad for every game, to have the Spain badge on my chest and to score as many goals as I can."

In February 2010, Bernd Schuster was asked if Raúl did not favour Villa moving to Real Madrid, to which he responded with "I have a cough", this caused many to believe that he was implying the rumour to be true. Villa firmly ridiculed that idea by saying "It is impossible that a player with as much class on and off the pitch as Raúl would speak poorly of me. I have always had a good relationship with Raúl, even though we have hardly met on international duty."

Speaking of Raúl's record with the Spanish national team as the nation's leading top scorer, Villa said, "I've got 25 goals but he's got 44 and is still playing. I'd be delighted to reach that tally as I'd help the national team achieve great victories and, in many years' time, I could see my name on a [scorers' list] that another young lad was trying to beat. That would be great." On March 25, 2011, two years after making that remark, Villa surpassed Raúl as Spain's all-time top scorer.

Personal life
In 2003 Villa married his childhood sweetheart Patricia González (who had also been a footballer in her teenage years). They had a daughter who they named Zaida. Her name is engraved on his personalised Adidas F50's, while one boot bears the Spanish flag, the other has the Asturian flag. In 2009, his second daughter Olaya was born, named after the wife of Fernando Torres, who is a close friend of Patricia. His footballing idols are Luis Enrique and Quini.

Villa frequently attends charity events. He is actively involved with the campaigns of the UNICEF charity.

Beginning in July 2008, a "David Villa Camp" is held annually, where children receive training from professional footballers. Villa also participates in a training session with the children.

Villa featured on the Spanish box art for video game FIFA 07.

From :