35-Year-Old Spanish Superstar Thrilled To Remain In Big Apple: 'I’m Not Ready To Go To The Sidelines'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was a no-brainer on just about every level.

Though David Villa will turn 36 in December, he has shown no signs of slowing down. New York City FC, a team that could very well challenge for an MLS Cup title as early as this season, clearly understands what the Spanish international means to the club’s short-term and long-term outlook, as it signed the reigning league MVP to a one-year contract extension on Wednesday.

Financial terms of the deal were not immediately known.

“I’m so happy here in this city and at this club, I am fit and I can do things on the pitch. I’m not ready to go to the sidelines,” Villa told NYCFC.com.

“That’s why continuing here and signing this contract was a really easy decision for me.”

Villa has been nothing short of sensational since joining NYCFC prior to its expansion season in 2015, scoring 46 goals in 70 matches, including five in the first seven this season. The veteran striker, who is Spain’s all-time leading goal scorer with 59 in 97 international matches, was utterly dominant last season, scoring 23 goals and adding four assists. NYCFC went on to finish second in the East before getting bounced in the conference semifinals by Toronto.

“Three years ago, we started a very good project to build this amazing club and they chose me to be the first captain, which I’m still so proud of,” Villa said. “When I look back to those first days in 2014, it’s really amazing to see how far we’ve come in such a short space of time and to know that there is so much potential for us to continue growing, on and off the field.”

NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira also expressed his happiness with the signing.

“It’s really good news for me, it’s good news for the club and it’s good news for David, especially when you look at the way he’s been playing and the amount of goals he’s scored,” Vieira said. “The club wanted to give him another year and he wanted to stay for another year. All of the parties are really happy and I’m personally really pleased that he will be with us for that time.”

NYCFC, which is currently in third place in the conference, five points behind first-place Orlando City SC, will next take the pitch on Sunday against visiting Atlanta United FC. Villa, who missed the previous game, a 3-2 win at Columbus on Saturday, due to illness, is expected to be back in the lineup. He thanked the fans for all their support during his discussion with the team’s website.

“From the first day until now, they love me and I love them,” said Villa, who led Spain to the UEFA European championship in 2008 and the FIFA World Cup title in 2010. “They give me all the support inside and outside of the pitch and they are a huge part of our successes, both in the past and the ones to come in our future.”

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