Spanish coach open to David Villa return
David Villa's international career might not be over after all.
Despite seemingly closing the chapter on his career with the Spanish international team when a teary-eyed Villa exited his country's World Cup match against Australia in 2014, the 34-year-old has recently stated his willingness to return if new manager Julen Lopetegui thinks he's capable of playing a role during World Cup qualifiers.
Villa's possible restoration into the squad could be expedited after impressing Lopetegui last weekend when he watched the Spanish forward score a goal and set up another during New York City FC's 4-1 triumph over the Columbus Crew.
"I went to New York with my wife, I took advantage and watched Villa play," Lopetegui told Spanish radio station Onda Cero, as translated by Adriana Garcia of ESPN FC. "The truth is that I saw him very well and playing with a lot of intensity."
Villa appeared to lose any chance of being recalled to the national team after his move to MLS due to the league's perceived drop in talent relative to European leagues.
"Villa continues to play at a very good level and in the future we will see if he can return," Lopetegui continued.
"We don't close the door to any player and we always have consideration for players that can help the national team.
"Villa is well, playing with a lot of rhythm, scoring lots of goals and showing a great attitude."
Villa remains Spain's all-time leading scorer after finding the back of the net 59 times in 97 appearances during the country's era of dominance, winning a pair of European Championships (2008, 2012) and a World Cup (2010).
His stock could rise even further if he's able to help New York City capture its first MLS Cup later this year.
- Blue cards absent from latest changes by football's lawmakers
- Inter Miami making Messi work too hard, says coach Martino
- Man United's Garnacho among 4 teens in Argentina's squad for U.S. friendlies
- Messi's Inter Miami to skip U.S. Open Cup, only 8 MLS sides competing
- How will Inter Miami's glitzy veterans shape up against Orlando?