Most Goals in International Football: David Villa Sánchez, former Barcelona and Spanish striker who started his senior career in 2000 for Sporting Gijon.
Besides being one of the most underrated players of the last decade.
David Villa lived one of the most inspiring lives of any footballer.
Right from the start, he kept being knocked down. Still, no matter what he had to overcome, he pushed through it despite only arriving in Barcelona at 28.
He had enough time to build one of the most impressive trophy cabinets in the sport.
To bring the Spanish National team to glory after over the years with no trophies for 40 years.
And to change football forever, revolutionizing what it meant to be a striker.
Villa’s Introduction to the International stage:
David Villa received his first-ever call-up to the world cup in 2006.
Villa debuted with a brace, and Spain finished the group stage undefeated, but Zinedine Zidane’s France came in their way.
And with minutes gone, surprisingly, Aragonés called not Raul, not Torres.
But David Villa to the penalty spot was the most heart-wrenching moment of his career.
But then he scored. Unfortunately, it would be pointless, with France putting goals past them before full-time.
It had been years since Spain last won a trophy, but Villa would make it his life’s work to bring them back to glory.
The following year, Villa partnered up with Morientes, and that season changed football forever in the eyes of many.
Villa was not like the average striker. That year, he scored a mere league goal, but as Johan Cruyff pointed out, “he was not just there to finish plays”.
David Villa was always the most intelligent player in the final third.
He would fake runs and drag defenders off Morientes, leaving him a chance to score.
He would assist him frequently and was the league’s top assist maker that year.
And besides all that, he was even capable of dropping off to cover other positions depending on what his team needed.
David Villa showed significant signs in Valencia in 2007-08, leading Luis Aragonés to make a hard decision.
Being faced with the imminent rise of modern Spanish football, Aragonés saw that Villa’s qualities would prove to be a better fit for the team in the long term.
And so he risked it all by leaving Raul Gonzalez, Spain’s all-time top scorer, out of the squad in favour of Villa, who would even take his predecessor’s iconic number.
To many, it was sacrilege, but Villa would eventually prove them all wrong.
But over summer came an opportunity for Villa, the 2008 Euros.
Over the qualification, Villa had already been the team’s top scorer.
The tournament started with a hat trick in a 4-1 win over Russia.
Everyone’s hopes went through the roof, and add to that a last-minute goal to rescue the points in the next match.
And imagine how crazy the hype around him was.
Villa rested in the last match and then clutched up against Italy, scoring the first shootout penalty before coming off against Russia in the semi-finals thanks to an injury to his thigh.
Unfortunately, Villa would miss the final, and I’m sure that bothered him.
Seeing Spain finally get another international trophy had to feel unique, especially with him winning the tournament’s golden boot.
World Cup 2010:
Welcome to David Villa’s world cup.
With hopes high following their win at the Euros, every Spaniard’s heart sank after their opening match defeat to Switzerland.
And all of their subsequent matches could have suffered the same fate had it not been for Villa, who came to the rescue like no one ever had.
In the following match, a 2-0 win against Honduras, Villa scored both.
Then Chile could have sent them out in the group stage, but Villa came through with a goal and an assist to make the match 2-1.
With the stakes even higher in the knockout stage, Villa scored the match’s only goal against Portugal and then provided Paraguay with the same treatment.
Spain was into the semi-finals, and every goal had either been scored or assisted by Villa.
From then on, he calmed down, but a late goal by Puyol put them in the final, and another late goal by Iniesta made them world champions.
Years after his debut, his parents were still in the stands, and if back then it was his mother who cried, now it was his father.
After decades by his side, it happened that his son was a world champion.
And the cherry on the cake was the tournament’s top scorer, even though the golden boot would go to Thomas Muller, who played fewer minutes, and the golden ball would go to Forlán.
There was no question that Villa had one of the most outstanding world cup performances of all time.
The dream team in Barcelona:
At Barcelona, he quickly hit his peak, finishing his first season just one match short of a treble, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring in the Copa Del Rey final to rob them of that final trophy.
However, winning the Champions League was still a massive landmark in his career.
After all, he had only won trophies at the club level up to that point.
And, of course, it helped him score a beautiful goal in the final.
No matter how much potential everyone saw in this new stint at Barcelona, its second season would come to send it all crashing down.
Halfway into his second season, Villa would play the club world cup, ending disastrously.
Villa broke his fibula, and if it already sounded terrible to start with. Eventually, everyone realized it was even worse.
It would take several months before Villa made it back to the pitch, which meant missing Euro 2012.
Especially heartbreaking given how essential he had been in their last few tournaments.
Nonetheless, David Villa ended his international career at World Cup 2014 against Australia and made a small cameo at Santiago Bernabeu.
He will go into history as one of the greatest goal scorers in International Football.
He scored 59 goals in 98 appearances for Spain and will remain their top scorer for the foreseeable future.
David Mara-Villa, one of the most underrated players ever, changed football forever.
Likewise, for more football news like this, click here.