David Villa to head Odisha FC's global football ops

ISL: David Villa to head Odisha FC's global football operations

Villa along with former OFC head coach Josep Gombau are also a part of the club's football committee

World Cup winner David Villa. Credit: AFP File Photo

World Cup, Euros, and UEFA Champions League winner David Villa has joined Indian Super League outfit Odisha FC as the head of its global football operations, the club announced on social media earlier today.

Villa, who has played for the likes of FC Barcelona, Valencia, and most recently in Japan for Vissel Kobe — where former Spain and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta is the captain — will also be a part of Odisha FC's Football Committee, which also comprises of former head coach Josep Gombau, part of Villa's DV7 Group. Their role will entail advising the coaching staff, improving the Indian and youth players, providing general support to the on-field activities among others, a press release said.

Multiple reports quoted the 39-year-old telling Sky Sports News in an interview that he would try to bring 20-years of being a professional footballer to Odisha. "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.

The Juggernauts' CEO Rohan Sharma said in a press release: "It's an absolute pleasure to welcome David Villa and the DV7 group to the Odisha FC family! 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 Raj Athwal said, "David's arrival is a statement of intent for Odisha Football Club, the region, the supporters and, of course, the Hero Indian Super League in general."

Villa had retired from professional football in January 2020, while at J-League side Vissel Kobe. Towards the final spell of his stint at the Japanese club, Villa announced that he would take over Queensboro FC, a club based in New York plying its trade in the USL, one of the lower divisions in the United States. The DV7 group which Villa heads is a consultancy firm that engages with football clubs and professionals.

The 39-year-old was a part of Pep Guardiola's all-conquering Barcelona side that won the Champions League in 2011. Villa was also a part of the Spain national team which won the Euros in 2008, the FIFA World Cup in 2010, and a second Euros in 2012.