We visited the NYCFC practice facility at SUNY Purchase recently. We watched the team practice and afterward interviewed captain and league MVP David Villa.
What is it like to be named MVP of the league?
It is very good. I am so proud. I think it is good for the club, too. Last year was good for me to win the MVP and for the team to do so well.
Do you prefer playing on artificial grass or real grass?
You need to be able to play under every condition in the game, but if I had to choose, I like the real grass.
Do you have a special celebration after you score a goal?
No. I just like to enjoy it with my teammates. It is the best moment in soccer. So I try to enjoy it with them, but no special celebration.
Who or what motivated you to push so hard in the all the games?
To be better every day. To just be good. I train hard and try to be the best at my position.
What is fun about playing professional soccer?
I have been dreaming ever since I was young to be a professional soccer player. So just being able to get out here makes it fun for me.
Does your uniform number 7 have a special meaning for you?
It is my lucky number and my first uniform number was 7, so I like that I have been able to keep this number.
Did any other sports you might have played growing up help you become a better soccer player?
I like all the sports, but I like soccer best. I try to keep myself strong by playing soccer every day.
What is the most number of goals you have scored in one game?
Four! I did that one time in a game when I was playing in Spain.
Was soccer a big deal in your family before you started playing the game yourself?
Yes. And now my family supports me day by day when I was a kid and they support me now. They support me and they all like soccer, too.
What was your hardest struggle as a child?
To be good day by day. No matter what happened in the past, you need to be good day by day. The most difficult thing in this sport is to keep getting better.
Where do you get inspiration?
Other soccer players. I like to watch all the other soccer players and learn from them. I watch the other strikers, and they are like coaches to me.
Does soccer ever get boring for you?
If you could play for any other team besides the NYCFC, who would it be?
I don’t know — I play here and I am so happy, so I am not thinking about any other teams.
Do your dominant and non-dominant foot play the same?
Yes, I can score with both feet. It is important to use both legs, not only for scoring but for technique. As a kid I learned to be good with both legs.
Of all the teams you have been on, what has been your favorite?
All the teams I play for — they make me happy, and I am happy here now.
How were you named captain of the NYCFC?
It is a responsibility for me, and I am happy to be captain of the NYCFC. I need to be an example for the rest of the guys.
How is living in America different from living in Spain?
It is good. My family is happy here. Of course, I live in Spain, too. But I do have fun here in America with my family.
If you weren’t able to play soccer, what would you be doing?
I don’t know. I started to play professional soccer when I was 17 years old. Since that moment I didn’t really think what would happen if I didn’t become a soccer player. I am so lucky for the place that I am in now.
What would you say to young soccer players who want to follow in your footsteps?
Try to be better day by day. Train strong. Listen to your coaches. Try to improve every day.