David Villa was the talk of the town on Tuesday as he was named MVP for MLS.
Tributes to El Guaje have poured in from across the globe but how did the media report on the 35-year old’s big win?
We kick off with Goal.com’s verdict, courtesy of Ives Galarcep, who posits that Villa has become Major League Soccer’s best player through grit, humility and personality.
Galarcep wrote: “David Villa has won a collection of titles during his career that would fulfill the dreams of any soccer player on the planet, but that didn’t stop him from being visibly emotional at the ceremony honoring him as Major League Soccer’s most valuable player Tuesday.
“To some, it might have been considered a bit of good acting, but not to anybody who has watched the effort he has put into his time with New York City FC since arriving two years ago. “He has taken every negative stereotype about high-priced superstars coming to MLS for big paydays and destroyed them in his own humble, hardworking way.
“He did so not just by scoring goals at a predictably ruthless rate, but by doing everything he could to help NYCFC, on and off the field — be it texting an NYCFC pick on draft day or learning English at a jaw-dropping rate and handling the bulk of interviews, both after big wins and tough losses.
“In a year filled with worthy contenders, Villa stood out for his consistently high level and tireless work, with and without the ball.
“He delivered the goals, 23 to be exact (second-most in MLS), but he also helped set a tone with his relentless effort — a tone that kept the team afloat through an inconsistent first half, and helped NYCFC hit its stride in the second half of the season.”
Couldn’t have put it any better ourselves!
Elsewhere, amny.com also covered the story, centering on David attending a community event in the Lower East Side with local students immediately after his coronation.
The story reads: “Instead of celebrating himself and his newly-acquired MLS Most Valuable Player award, New York City FC’s David Villa spent his day playing the sport he loves with a bunch of kids.
“A few hours after he received the trophy during a ceremony in TriBeCa, the club’s captain traveled to PS 2 in the Lower East Side to play with the students and participate in Tuesday’s after-school program.
“The visit was part of the club’s support for the City in the Community foundation, which promotes healthier lifestyles for children in the five boroughs through soccer.
“Villa, who led NYCFC to its first postseason berth this year, stressed the importance of giving back to the community whenever he can.
‘“I think this is one of the greatest events NYCFC has with the community,”’ Villa told amNewYork in an interview conducted in his native Spanish. ‘“As player and captain, I’m more than happy to join them [NYCFC] and be with the kids.”’
Tackling Sebastian Giovinco’s omission from the shortlist, Castillo argued: “For sure, this provoked some grumbling.
“There was still the issue of MLS Cup contender, Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco, and his snub from the nominee shortlist in the first place. And, of course the other two remaining finalists – Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sacha Kljestan — came from NYCFC’s archrivals, the New York Red Bulls.
“But few could say they were surprised at Villa’s win, or that he didn’t deserve it.
“But even in the award’s slick announcement space, a minimalist, glass-walled box in Manhattan’s SoHo that mostly hosts fashion shoots, Villa himself couldn’t stay totally unruffled.
“MLS Commissioner Don Garber, in the presentation event’s opening remarks, remarked on how much Villa’s passion has yielded both on and off the field.
‘“[The award] has to speak to what he is as a man, and what kind of character he has,”’ Garber said of Villa, “’and how he’s represented himself as a professional.”'
“Villa wore the impact of all of this on his face. A World Cup win and a host of other big-time international awards later, he remains as dedicated as ever to his club success — to the benefit of both the team and the league.”