Former Barcelona striker David Villa has spoken of his delight to be linking up with Frank Lampard at New York City FC next season, after the pair both signed as Designated Players for the MLS expansion side this summer.
A joint venture between Manchester City and Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees, who together paid a reported $100 million for the team's expansion rights, NYCFC were officially announced as the league's 20th franchise in May 2013, and are set to begin their inaugural season next March.
Villa, in the meantime, is spending the fall and winter on loan at fellow sister club Melbourne City FC in the Australian A-League, while his future teammate keeps up his fitness with the Premier League side, and he admits he is looking forward to the prospect of taking to the pitch for the first time with the Chelsea legend.
‘Yes, obviously Lampard is an excellent player,’ he told Complex News at the launch event for the new MLS logo. ‘A player with a spectacular final pass that strikers have always benefited from.
‘And well, thank god that I can have him as a teammate and that I can benefit from his play.’
Having netted 13 goals in 36 league games for La Liga champions Atletico Madrid last season, Villa could certainly still be performing for a top European outfit, but the 32-year-old Spain legend revealed that the chance to help grow a new and ambitious project across the Atlantic was a challenge he couldn’t refuse.
‘Well, it was put forward to me in this moment and it’s an important challenge for me,’ he said.
‘After playing my entire career successfully in Europe, starting here at zero and making a name for myself here, I take it as a big challenge for me.’