Nicknamed El Guaje (The Kid in Asturian) due to cultivating a reputation of playing football with children much older than him, Villa sustained a serious injury as a child, but managed to start his professional career with Sporting de Gijón in 2001. He moved to Real Zaragoza after two seasons, where he made his La Liga debut, winning the Copa del Rey and Supercopa de España. He joined Valencia in 2005 for a transfer fee of €12 million, and captured another Copa del Rey title. At age 28, Villa registered 28 league goals, and garnered a move to Barcelona for €40 million in 2010, where he won his first La Liga and UEFA Champions League titles, and scored in the 2011 final. He left the club in 2013 after concluding a €5. 1 million transfer to Atlético Madrid, where he won another La Liga title. After a singular season in the Spanish capital, Villa departed to join upstart MLS franchise New York City, where he became the club's record goalscorer and appearance maker, winning the MLS MVP Award for best player in 2016. In 2018, Villa announced his departure from New York to relocate to Japan, in order to join Vissel Kobe.