David Villa is still reeling from Spain’s loss in the World Cup. The 36-year-old soccer star, who currently plays for New York City’s MLS club, chatted with HOLA! USA about the tournament, as well as the sportsmanship of the game and keeping his young children connected to their Spanish roots. When it came time for Sergio Ramos and Gerard Piqué to face off against Russia on Sunday, July 1, the Spanish national team had a cheerleader across the pond in New York: David. Sadly for him, his former team lost. David confessed, “I have suffered a lot, especially yesterday from here, from New York, watching it on television. The truth is that obviously we expected to be ahead. This is [the] sport, this is soccer, some win others lose.”
VIEW GALLERY David spoke to HOLA! USA about his partnership with McDonald's during the 2018 World Cup Photo: Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for TAG Heuer
He also noted, “In sport[s] there is always a trend to criticize the loser. But I always think, not only just about yesterday’s game but in general we must give much more importance in sport and particularly in soccer to the winner. We must give Russia a lot of merit for their game, they played better. We must accept the defeat, these things happen.”
As for who he plans on supporting now that Spain is out of the World Cup, David admitted, “I just want to enjoy all the games and the World Cup in general. I don’t have a favorite and I would like for the best to win. Uruguay is doing really good and I have a lot of friends there. I also have a lot of friends in Colombia [and] they have a great excitement,” adding, “There are several teams, but I will try to enjoy it from the point of view of not having a big favorite.”
Although he didn’t play in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the soccer legend — who partnered with McDonald’s during the tournament to surprise fans with breakfast as part of the Wake-Up Moments campaign — remains in contact with several of his former teammates. The brotherhood between players on rival national teams is clear on the field, as evidenced by Real Madrid stars Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo. “[Soccer] is a sport of respect. Respect for your teammates, for the people you are working with, for the rival,” David said. “This action is not the first nor will it be the last. It is very normal, there is always respect for the profession. These images speak for themselves.”
VIEW GALLERY David Villa surprised soccer fans with McDonald's breakfast Photo: McDonald's
David previously played for FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid before becoming New York City's first ever team captain in 2015. With his family now based in New York, the doting dad makes sure his and wife Patricia González’s kids — Zaida, Olaya, and Luca — stay connected to their roots. He said, “Every year I go to Spain, they know where they come from. Except Luca, the girls have spent more time in Spain than in New York. I have lived in New York only for three years now. They have been in Spain their whole life. All our family is from Spain.” The athlete continued, “And thanks to technology its very easy to keep contact using FaceTime to call family, friends. We also go to Spain on vacation and the family comes here.”
Continue reading for more from HOLA! USA’s interview with soccer legend David Villa...
How did you get involved with McDonald's?
"It's really good, being with McDonald is a long relationship. We worked together during the World Cup in South Africa and in many other soccer actions. McDonald has always and continuous being involved with soccer and in this case with the World Cups. With today’s events I’m surprising fans delivering breakfasts to their homes. People that we are surprising they get excited at first time in the morning."
The soccer player's favorite memory from his soccer days in Spain is the 2010 World Cup Photo: Spanish Royal Press Dept/Borja Fotógrafos/Handout/Getty Images
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
"That’s what nutritionists normally say, I'm not a nutritionist, normally in this case what I do as a soccer player is to be guided by the people who set the guidelines of the club, both at breakfast and in other meals during the day."
What’s your favorite memory from your days playing in Spain?
"The 2010 World Cup in South Africa. That is the best memory for everyone. And each time I wear Spain’s jersey is for me a good memory because [it] is something I've dreamed of since I was a child."
Love the brotherhood amongst the players. Do you still keep in contact with some of them like Piqué or Ramos?
"Yes, of course, with many of them. I was with them when we played against Italy. I talk to many of them."
Interview by: Teresa Paternina