Odisha FC ropes in Spain legend David Villa in management role

Hailed as one of the best Spanish strikers of all time, the 39-year-old has donned the colours of many an elite club including Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Valencia and most recently Major League Soccer outfit New York City FC.

The World Cup and Champions League winner is Spain's all-time top scorer and also leads the charts for NYCFC among several other milestones.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Odisha FC has roped in Spain legend David Villa into its Football Committee. Villa will head the club's global football operations, a statement from the Indian Super League club said.

"I will try to bring my experience. Obviously, I didn't play in India but I played football for 20 years as a professional and before that in the academy. And in all of the projects that we [my team] are involved in, I try to give all of my experience that I have in football," Villa said.

Hailed as one of the best Spanish strikers of all time, the 39-year-old has donned the colours of many an elite club including Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Valencia and most recently Major League Soccer outfit New York City FC. The World Cup and Champions League winner is Spain's all-time top scorer and also leads the charts for NYCFC among several other milestones.

READ: Odisha FC extends contract with Jerry Mawihmingthanga

Speaking about the development, Rohan Sharma, CEO of Odisha FC explained, " It's crazy to think that when I started watching football I used to see David, on my TV. Now together we are trying to help grow football in Odisha."

Club President Mr. Raj Athwal mentioned, "David's arrival is a statement of intent for Odisha Football Club, the region, the supporters and, of course, the Indian Super League in general."

"(Villa) won the Euros and the World Cup with Spain, and La Liga and the Champions League with Barcelona, and we are hoping he will bring that formula to Odisha FC which will see Odisha FC hopefully make it to the top of the ISL table next year," Vishal K Dev IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Sports and Youth Services, Government of Odisha added.

Former Odisha FC Head Coach Josep Gombau and Victor Onate have also been inducted into the club's Football Committee, with their role including advising the coaching staff, improving the Indian and youth players, providing general support to the on field activities among others.

RELATED: David Villa denies accusation of harassment at New York City

The former Spain international was accused of harassment by a former New York City FC intern last year. He, however, denied the charges. The club's investigations into the allegations conceded there had been failings in its system but did not mention Villa.

Villa played for NYCFC between 2014 and 2018.

During the last ISL season, Odisha FC had sacked its then manager Stuart Baxter for using an offensive analogy about rape while talking about a refereeing decision.

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