On May 24, 2014, David Villa started for Atlético Madrid in a 4-1 loss to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Final. Eight days later, he announced he was leaving the club after one season for "an irresistible project." The next day, Villa was named New York City FC's first-ever player.
Now, Villa is almost finished with his second MLS season as NYCFC captain. The 34-year-old striker has the most goals in MLS (39) since he joined the league in 2015. He is still the all-time goal-scorer for Spain's national team.
Talking at a New York City bar after watching a Sept. 21 draw between two of his former clubs, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, with local fans brought together by go90, Villa recounted his journey in the United States.
ThePostGame: Why do you think you're a good person to work with go90?
DAVID VILLA: It's amazing for me to work with them. Talking about the application, it's perfect. When I am at home, I watch the games on La Liga or in Europe on TV, but I am away a lot of times because of soccer. With the travel and the trips, I can watch this game on my phone with go90.
TPG: You watched the Barcelona-Atlético Madrid match today. Do you miss La Liga? Do you miss playing for both those teams?
VILLA: No. I played a lot of games there. I enjoyed it a lot there. I enjoy it a lot here. It's not about missing. It's about the opportunity to play in another part of the world.
TPG: You see so many fans here today. In your two years here, you've seen soccer grow and improve. How have you seen fans change?
VILLA: They show interest in soccer. The league's growing, the soccer players are growing, the coaches are growing. Soccer is the best sport in the world. America is one of the best countries in the world. People like the sport here too.
TPG: Why do you care about soccer's growth in the U.S.?
VILLA: With my soccer, with my interviews, talking about the good things in the league, the reputation of the sport is the important part of growing the league. The reputation is pretty good right now.
TPG: What has surprised you about American fans?
VILLA: I'm not surprised. I like American fans. They go to the stadium a lot, support the team and are very happy.
TPG: Do people recognize you on the streets of New York?
VILLA: Yes, sometimes. Not as much as in Spain.
TPG: Is that weird because in Barcelona and Madrid you'd get mobbed on the street?
VILLA: In Barcelona in Madrid, you walk and people stop you in the street and always say good things about you. Here, it happens less times, but it's still good.
TPG: Playing with Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo, an English superstar and an Italian superstar, how do you think that fusion of cultures is going?
VILLA: They are very good soccer players. To be here with them to enjoy this experience is nice.
TPG: How far can MLS get? Can it be a top league in the world?
VILLA: Why not? It's a young league. It's 20 years old. But this is the goal. To be one of the best leagues in the world.
TPG: When players from Europe ask about the MLS experience, what do you tell them?
VILLA: It's nice. It's competitive. It's fun. You can enjoy it a lot. And I invite everybody to come here.
TPG: Is Fernando Torres ever going to come play in MLS?
VILLA: (Smile) I don't know. That is a question for him.
TPG: Are there any questions that your former teammates have asked about soccer in the U.S. that are interesting?
VILLA: Yes. The reputation of the MLS is bigger and bigger, and I tell them to come play.
— Jeffrey Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) September 21, 2016
TPG: Who is one player you'd love to see come to MLS?
VILLA: I cannot choose. With more players, the league will be better.
TPG: How long do you think you'll be here?
VILLA: I don't know. My legs and my head is good. I'm very good on the pitch, and I hope a few more years.
TPG: What's your goal as an MLS player?
VILLA: Winning trophies. Like the same in Spain. The most important thing for winning in soccer is winning trophies and I hope I do the same here.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.