Former Barcelona star David Villa has confirmed his plans to retire once the current J-League season finishes.
The 37-year-old has been playing for Japanese side Vissel Kobe this year with three league matches remaining before an Emperor’s Cup semi-final in late December.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Villa revealed he will be hanging up his boots, declaring he wanted to finish his career while he was still performing at a decent level.
“I’ve been thinking about this for a long time,” Villa said. “This is the result of discussions I had with my family and people around me.
“I wanted to retire from football, not be forced to retire from football.”
Kobe confirmed the Spanish attacker’s final game will take place on December 7 against Jubilo Iwata, meaning he won’t take part in the club’s remaining cup games.
Villa’s career has spanned 19 years and began in Spain with Sporting Gijon before subsequent moves to Zaragoza, Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.