Spain's record goalscorer David Villa has joined Club Atlético de Madrid after the Colchoneros struck a deal with Liga rivals FC Barcelona that could rise to around €5m.
The forward, 31, will move to the Vicente Calderón on undisclosed contractual terms and help fill the void left by Falcao's departure for AS Monaco FC in May. "I am arriving here as one more player in a team that is already complete and hope to help [Atlético] be that extra bit competitive," he said after passing a medical on Tuesday. "I spoke with [coach] Diego Simeone and he showed a lot of confidence in me. I now have to repay that.
"I would like to thank Barcelona for the three years I spent at the club. They always showed me a special affection." Villa arrived at Barcelona from Valencia CF for €40m in 2010 and enjoyed three successful campaigns with the Catalan giants, lifting two Liga titles, the UEFA Champions League, a UEFA Super Cup, a Copa del Rey and two Spanish Super Cups.
Despite a lengthy absence after suffering a broken leg in Barça's successful 2011 FIFA Club World Cup run, Villa racked up 48 goals in 119 official outings for the Azulgrana. The former Real Sporting de Gijón and Real Zaragoza attacker is also Spain's all-time leading marksman with 56 goals from 92 appearances and top-scored as Spain won UEFA EURO 2008 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Villa says he needs "a slight break before starting this new adventure" but is likely to face his former side when Copa del Rey holders Atlético, third in the Liga last season, and Barcelona compete for the Spanish Super Cup in August.
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