This past Sunday, the New York City Football Club opened up its MLS season with a wild 4-3 victory in Chicago against the Fire. Somehow, David Villa, a World Cup and Euro Cup champion with Spain, as well as the country’s all-time leading goal scorer, didn’t get his name on the score sheet.
Could this be because he was still a little sore from juggling with me a few days earlier at the Heineken headquarters in New York City, as you can see right here in this shamelessly self-promotional iPhone video? Or could this be because he was still mentally and physically fatigued from “teaching” me how to simulate a foul—aka, a dive— in this other shamelessly self-promotional iPhone video (with admittedly bad sound)?
Okay, yeah, you’re right. It’s not because of either of those things. Like, at all. I was sore the next day, but Villa surely was not. And knowing Villa and his scoring record throughout his career, he will probably bag a goal, if not a hat trick, in his team’s home opener this Sunday at Yankee Stadium against Toronto FC (5pm ET, ESPN2). But thanks to our friends at Heineken, I was also able to sit down with the NYCFC captain and chat with him—in English!—about Spanish women, Lionel Messi, the uncoolness of Andrea Pirlo and beer. Here’s the full conversation below.
“I don’t need to tell Messi to join me in MLS. He likes it. In his mind he’s always thinking of the possibility of coming here.”
You are from Spain. Other than Madrid and Barcelona, what Spanish cities should Americans visit?
I lived in a lot of Spanish cities, thanks to soccer. Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Zaragoza, Gijon. I recommend people visit the north, my home, Asturias. It’s a very nice place for a visit. You’ll like it. [Editor’s note: Gijon is the largest city in Asturias. It looks very nice indeed on its Wikipedia page.] But wherever you want to go in Spain, you will be happy for sure.
What Spanish city has the most beautiful women?
You cannot go wrong. All of the country has beautiful women.
What can a guy say to a Spanish woman to impress her?
I am retired, of course. For twelve years. But if you can make a Spanish woman smile, you win points. If you try to speak in Spanish, it’s another point for you.
Your NYCFC teammate, Andrea Pirlo, a World Cup winner with Italy, seems like the coolest guy in the world. Mr. Suave. What’s one thing he does that is not cool?
I don’t like the Italian music that he plays. It’s not cool for me, but maybe for him it’s cool.
Yeah, yeah. For me! For Italians maybe it’s very good.
You were teammates with Lionel Messi at Barcelona. Most consider him the best player in the world. Do you have his phone number?
Can you text him right now and tell him to join you in MLS?
No. He’s asleep. He’d kill me! But I don’t need to tell him. He likes it. A lot of people in Europe like MLS, and in his mind he’s always thinking of the possibility of coming here. But it’s not easy, no? Messi obviously has the possibility to play in all the countries in the world. I hope he chooses MLS in the future.
Do you think he will?
Yeah, of course, why not? He likes Argentina, too, but…
How many years until he comes here, do you think?
I don’t know. He is young. He’s 28. He can play soccer eight more years.
Your English is very good, by the way.
By the way, you’re in this advertising campaign with Heineken, along with Landon Donovan and Carli Lloyd. Do you drink beer?
I do but not close to the games or the training sessions. Only on free days. On free days, of course.
Is this your final season of professional soccer?
No! I will play many more. Possibly ten. [Laughs.]