NYCFC's David Villa signs contract extension through 2018 season

The reigning MLS MVP isn't going anywhere soon.

David Villa has signed an extension that will keep him with New York City FC through the 2018 season, the club announced Wednesday.

Villa, who became the first signing in NYCFC history when he joined the club in June 2014, has been an absolute star since moving to MLS, recording 46 goals and 15 assists in 70 regular season games with New York. The 35-year-old had 23 goals and four assists in 2016 to lead NYCFC to their first playoff berth, win the MLS MVP trophy and earn a spot on the league’s Best XI.

“Three years ago, we started a very good project to build this amazing club and they chose me to be the first captain which I’m still so proud of,” Villa said in a statement released by NYCFC. “When I look back to those first days in 2014, it’s really amazing to see how far we’ve come in such a short space of time and to know that there is so much potential for us to continue growing, on and off the field.

“I’m so happy here in this city and at this club, I am fit and I can do things on the pitch - I’m not ready to go to the sidelines. That’s why continuing here and signing this contract was a really easy decision for me.”

Villa’s solid production has continued in 2017, as he’s registered five goals and three assists in seven regular season games. The leading scorer in Spanish national team history and a World Cup winner, Villa’s initial MLS contract was set to expire after this season.

“It’s really good news for me, it’s good news for the club and it’s good news for David, especially when you look at the way he’s been playing and the amount of goals he’s scored,” NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira said in the statement. “The club wanted to give him another year and he wanted to stay for another year. All of the parties are really happy and I’m personally really pleased that he will be with us for that time.”

Villa, who missed NYCFC’s 3-2 win at Columbus last Saturday due to illness, will look to return to the field on Sunday, when New York host Atlanta United FC at Yankee Stadium (4 pm ET; Facebook.com | Univision in the US | MLS LIVE in Canada).