Villa was named on Friday to Spain’s squad for their upcoming UEFA World Cup qualifiers against Italy on Sept. 2 and at Liechtenstein on Sept. 5.
The all-time leading scorer in the history of the Spanish national team and the 2016 MLS MVP, Villa has 19 goals and eight assists in 24 regular season games with NYCFC this year and 60 goals and 20 assists in 87 career MLS appearances.
The 35-year-old last played for Spain at the 2014 World Cup and told media before the start of that tournament that he’d end his international career after the competition, which saw Spain disappointingly crash out in the group stage. He walked that back over the past year, however, telling a Spanish radio station last October that he’d welcome a return to La Roja.
Villa has 59 goals in 97 career appearances for Spain. A three-time World Cup veteran, he made his international debut in 2005 and helped Spain to the Euro 2008 and 2010 FIFA World Cup titles.
Spain are currently tied with Italy atop UEFA World Cup qualifying Group G through six of 10 qualifying matches. The first-place finisher will automatically qualify for next summer’s World Cup, while the runner-up will move to a home-and-home playoff against a second-place finisher from a different group for a spot in Russia.
NYCFC and Villa will take on the New York Red Bulls in the third and final regular season edition of the New York Derby on Friday night at Red Bull Arena (7 pm ET; ESPN and ESPN Deportes in the US | TSN5 in Canada). The club have the next weekend off before returning to action on Sept. 6 against Sporting Kansas City and on Sept. 9 against the Portland Timbers.
Watch ExtraTime Live on Friday at 5:30 PM ET. Ahead of the New York Derby, Andrew and David bring you on to the field and into the parking lot at Red Bull Arena. Tune in for interviews with players, coaches and fans ahead of a massive match as Heineken Rivalry Week rolls on. Set a reminder to watch