David Villa is one of the most prolific goalscorers and decorated footballers from Spain. He was an integral part of Spain’s golden generation that won two European Championships and a World Cup from 2008 to 2012.
Villa earned the nickname “El Guaje” (The Kid) for his upbringing in a small village in northern Spain. He is renowned for his goalscoring prowess, dribbling skills and ability to play across the frontline.
Net Worth and Salary
According to multiple reports, David Villa’s net worth is estimated to be around $75 million as of 2023. The bulk of his net worth has been accumulated through his lucrative playing contracts with top European clubs like Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. He was one of the highest-earning footballers during his peak years.
Some of his top earning years:
- Earned $10.5 million per year while at Barcelona from 2010 to 2013
- Earned $5.8 million per year while at Atletico Madrid from 2013 to 2014
He supplemented his football salary through various endorsement deals with brands like Adidas, Pepsi, Samsung and more. He continues to earn money through business ventures and as a minority owner of Queensboro FC in the US.
Early Life and Age
David Villa was born on December 3, 1981 in Langreo, Asturias, Spain. As of 2023, he is 41 years old.
He grew up in the small coal mining valley of Tuilla in Langreo, situated in the northern region of Asturias. His father Jose Manuel worked in the coal mines to support the family. Young Villa played for UP Langreo and Mareo FC as a child before joining Sporting Gijón’s youth setup in 1995 at the age of 14.
Playing Career and Records
After progressing through Sporting Gijón’s youth system, Villa made his professional debut in 2000 at the age of 19. He spent most of his early career playing in Spain’s second division. Some highlights:
- Scored 38 goals in two seasons for Sporting Gijón before moving to top-flight club Real Zaragoza in 2003.
- Was Zaragoza’s leading goalscorer for two straight seasons, most notably scoring 28 goals in 2005-06.
- Made his international debut for Spain in 2005 and became an integral part of the national team soon after.
- Signed for Valencia in 2005 for a transfer fee of €12 million.
- Scored 19 league goals in his very first season, becoming their leading scorer as they qualified for Champions League.
- Formed a prolific partnership with David Silva and Juan Mata over the next few seasons, leading Valencia to more Champions League qualifications.
- Scored over 100 goals across competitions for Valencia from 2005-2010, winning one Copa del Rey.
Some stats and records from his Valencia stint:
- 108 goals in 166 appearances
- Top La Liga goalscorer for Valencia in 2006-07 (25 goals) and 2009-10 (28 goals)
- Most Champions League goals for Valencia (23)
- Signed for Barcelona in 2010 for a transfer fee of €40 million
- Formed part of Barcelona’s legendary attacking trio alongside Lionel Messi and Pedro
- Helped Barcelona win two La Liga titles and one Champions League from 2010 to 2013
- Scored in both Champions League finals in 2011 and 2012
- Other major trophies won include 1 Copa del Rey, 2 FIFA Club World Cups, 2 UEFA Super Cups
Some phenomenal stats and records from his Barcelona stint:
|Copa del Rey
- 3rd highest La Liga goalscorer for Barcelona in 2010-11 season (18 goals)
- Top goalscorer for Barcelona in 2011 FIFA Club World Cup (3 goals)
Atletico Madrid: 2013-14 La Liga Winners
- Signed for Atletico Madrid in 2013 for €5.1 million
- Formed attacking partnership with Diego Costa as Atletico won the La Liga title in 2013-14
- Scored 13 league goals including several crucial winners
- Also helped Atletico reach the Champions League final the same season
- Spent only one season at Atletico but proved to be a key player in their title victory
New York City FC and Retirement
- Signed for New York City FC in 2014 as their first ever player
- Retired in 2019 after spending 5 years playing in the MLS
- Scores 80 goals in 124 appearances for New York City FC
- Top goalscorer for the club in 2015, 2016 and 2018 seasons
David Villa’s Career Legacy and Records:
- World Cup Winner: Won 2010 World Cup and Euro 2008 with dominant Spain team
- Champions League Winner: Won 2011 Champions League with Barcelona
- 325 league goals in top divisions in Spain, USA and Japan
- All-time top goalscorer for Valencia (140 goals)
- Spain’s leading goalscorer in history (59 goals in 98 matches)
Family and Relationships
David Villa is married to Patricia González, his childhood sweetheart from Asturias, Spain. They got married in 2003 and have three children: Zaid (son), Olaya (daughter) and Luca (youngest son).
While playing in Spain, his family would visit during the holidays. But after moving to NYCFC, Villa moved his entire family to New York City where they would spend most of the year together.
After retirement, the Villa family moved back to Spain and are now based out of Madrid. Villa likes to keep his family life very private.
Post-Retirement Career and Other Projects
After retiring in 2019, Villa has embarked on several new business projects spanning sports, media and investment:
- Started a sports investment group called DV7 Group shortly after retirement
- DV7 has mainly invested in high-growth sports leagues around the world like the Indian Super League and National Women’s Soccer League
Co-Owner of Queensboro FC
- Became co-owner of Queensboro FC, a new professional soccer team based in Queens, New York that will start playing in 2025.
Part-owner of Olocip Startup
- Invested and became advisor for Spanish AI and Big Data start-up Olocip in 2018
- Olocip provides advanced analytics and predictive services to sports teams and leagues
Launched a Media Production House
- Villa launched his own media production house called VillaVisuals in 2021
- It aims to create sports documentaries and other premium video content
So in summary, Villa has successfully transitioned into an entrepreneurial career post-retirement centered around sports, technology and media projects.
Social Media Following
David Villa has an enormous social media following spanning his playing days to long after retirement. Here are some of his follower counts across platforms as of January 2024:
- Instagram: 9.2 million followers
- Facebook: 7.8 million followers
- Twitter: 8.6 million followers
In total, he has over 25 million followers across major social media platforms.
He uses these platforms to promote his business ventures, share updates on his career, post promotional content with brands, and connect with fans. Brands can leverage his huge follower base for marketing campaigns.
This massive following points to his enduring popularity as an international football superstar. The fact that these follower counts continue rising demonstrate that people still connect very strongly with David Villa.
David Villa in Popular Culture
As one of Spain’s most famous sportspersons, David Villa has featured prominently across films, television and music:
- Goal! film trilogy by Adidas featuring Villa alongside other football stars
- Made a special cameo as himself in 2017 sports comedy film Ola de Crímenes
TV Shows and Documentaries:
- Headlined his own documentary “Nine Lessons From El Guaje” in 2021 covering his life and career
- Multiple TV commercials with brands like Pepsi, Samsung and Adidas
Music and Advertising Campaigns:
- Spanish pop band El Sueño de Morfeo wrote a song titled “Para David Villa” in his honor in 2008
- Turkish airline Corendon Airlines promoted flights to Spain featuring Villa in ads in 2012
- Songs and music videos dedicated to Villa like “Guaje Villa Maravilla”
- Graced the covers and features as a top playable athlete in EA Sports’ FIFA video game series from 2005 to 2019
So in summary, Villa’s stardom in Spain and globally has led to plenty of references across pop culture spanning music, films, advertising and video games.
David Villa will go down in history as one of the most lethal strikers and talented footballers Spain has ever produced. He spearheaded Spain’s golden era between 2008 to 2012, helping the national team win their first ever World Cup in 2010.
At club level, Villa was the ultimate big-game player who saved his best for the world’s grandest stages.
His goals in two Champions League finals will forever be etched in memory. Overall, he won every major trophy possible – a World Cup, European Championship, Champions League and league titles in Spain.
Villa earned his reputation as a consummate professional admired by teammates and opponents alike for his tireless work ethic and team spirit. His loyalty to boyhood club Sporting Gijón stood out as well in an era dominated by money and celebrity.
In retirement, Villa has inspired the next generation through coaching and ownership while expanding his business empire. With his popularity still running sky high, the David Villa story still has many chapters left as he begins his 40s.
Regardless, his impact on Spanish football is undeniable – Villa led the conquest that made the world fall head over heels for the Spanish style of play.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is David Villa’s nickname and what does it mean?
David Villa earned the nickname “El Guaje” which translates to “The Kid” in Asturian dialect. He got this nickname during his childhood playing football in his tiny home village of Tuilla to differentiate him from the other David Villa at the club.
What is David Villa’s best goal for Spain?
Villa’s most iconic goal for Spain came in the comeback win over Slovakia at the 2010 World Cup. After trailing 1-0 for most of the match, Villa provided inspiration by scoring a stunning angled half-volley to put Spain ahead. This goal is considered one of the most important goals in Spain’s history.
Did David Villa play with Lionel Messi?
Yes, Villa formed a prolific goalscoring partnership with Lionel Messi between 2010 and 2013 while at Barcelona. Together they won two La Liga titles, one Champions League and two FIFA Club World Cups.
Why did David Villa leave Barcelona?
It is believed that Villa left Barcelona in order to play more regularly as his opportunities were decreasing after recovering from an injury in 2011-12. At 31, he moved to Atletico Madrid in 2013 where he was a key player in their La Liga winning season before heading to MLS side New York City FC.
What number did David Villa wear at Barcelona?
At Barcelona, David Villa wore the number 7 jersey which had previously been worn by legends like Eto’o, Figo and Villa’s childhood idol, Quini. As a lifelong Sporting Gijón fan, Villa also wore the #7 growing up.