April 30 (UPI) — New York City FC star David Villa netted his 400th career goal in a 3-1 win against FC Dallas.
Villa netted the score with a penalty kick in the 35th minute Sunday at Yankee Stadium in New York City. The Spanish striker joined Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the only active players to have scored at least 400 career goals for club and country.
The 36-year-old joined Major League Soccer in 2014, following a stint with La Liga club Atletico Madrid.
NYC FC and FC Dallas were tied 1-1 after Santiago Mosquera’s goal for the home squad in the 10th minute. FC Dallas was flagged for a handball in the box in the 36th minute, resulting in a penalty kick for NYC FC.
Villa stepped up to the mark at 399 career scores. He ran up and drove the attempt right, fooling FC Dallas keeper Jimmy Maurer.
NYC FC carried the 2-1 advantage through the halftime whistle, before Villa returned for his second score.
Defender Anton Tinnerholm stole the ball from FC Dallas on that play. He fired a pass up the right flank to Villa, who split two defenders and maintained control into the box. Villa finished the run with a shot into the far post netting with his left boot.
“Obviously when you’re [older] it’s difficult to continue fighting in the same way,” Villa said after the game, according to MLSSoccer.com.
“But I know perfectly what has made me successful in my career and its not another way than to give everything every day in training, give everything every day on the field. With the passing of time I need to take care of my body more. I did it in the training facility, before and after [training]. I need to continue.”
Villa scored 22 goals in 2017 and 23 goals in 2016, becoming the first player in MLS history to score 20 goals in back-to-back seasons. He has four goals and two assists through six games this season.
“I think it’s a fantastic achievement,” NYC FC coach Patrick Vieira said. “We all know David as a player. He is somebody who is working very hard. When he scores so many goals I’m not surprised because I see him and I’m working with him every day.”
NYC FC battles the New York Red Bulls at 1:55 p.m. Saturday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.