David Villa has played in the last three World Cups. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
For the first time since 2002, David Villa will have to watch the World Cup like the most of us — via TV.
The New York City FC captain was not selected to Spain’s World Cup team that was announced Monday.
After NYCFC’s 4-0 home win over the Colorado Rapids Saturday, Villa talked about the possibility of getting the call.
“I try not to think about it a lot because it makes me sick, you know,” he said. “Obviously, I am waiting for the call. When the national team call is coming, whatever it is, World Cup, friendly game, I am waiting always because I dream to play with the national team.”
Villa has performed in three World Cups — 2006, 2010 and 2014. He played a vital role in helping Spain to capture its first world championship at South Africa in 2010. While he still is filling the net for NYCFC, Villa is 36, which is considered ancient for an international striker. His last call-up came last September when he suffered an injury during training camp that kept him sidelined for a while from NYCFC action.
“It’s very difficult because Spain has amazing strikers, a lot of strikers in good position right now,” said Villa, who has scored 59 times in 98 international appearances. “But you now, I always wait. You never know. If not, I cannot change my mentality every day. I need to keep it strong, I need to train hard to think about being focused here. If [Spain] calls me, I will change my mind.”
Despte missing Villa leads NYCFC with seven goals this season. He had two in the win over the Rapids.
It should be noted that teams are not technically final until June 4. The roster has been set barring injury.
GOALKEEPERS: Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Club), David de Gea (Manchester United), Pepe Reina (Napoli)
DEFENDERS: Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Cesar Azpiliqueta (Chelsea), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Nacho Fernandez (Real Madrid), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Alvaro Odriozola (Real Sociedad), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
MIDFIELDERS: Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Isco (Real Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid), David Silva (Manchester City)
FORWARDS: Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Rodrigo Moreno (Valencia), Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid)