David Villa’s three-year absence from the Spain National Team is over.
The MLS MVP came on as an 87th minute substitute as Spain defeated Italy 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.
An Isco double and an Alvaro Morata goal was enough to put the 2010 World Champions in charge of their FIFA World Cup qualifying group at the expense of the Azzurri.
Villa said: “Thanks to everyone for showing me so much affection. It’s been a very special day and I’m very happy.
“It was a great win against Italy and qualification rests with us. Isco’s a great lad, he’s doing well and I’m very happy about what’s happening to him at the moment.
“I never lost my enthusiasm for coming here and I must thank those who have shown faith in me. I’ll continue working.”
The score was 3-0 when Villa unzipped his training jacket and took to the field to the joy of those attending in the Spanish capital.
Chants of “Villa, Villa, Villa” had been echoing across the stadium for the whole second half until Head Coach Julen Lopetegui finally gave them what they wanted.
It was an emotional moment for David as he returned to international duty for the first time since he became an NYCFC player, and for the first time since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Next up on the road to Russia, Villa will hope to win cap no.99 on Tuesday evening when Spain travel to Liechtenstein.
This 3-0 win leaves La Rojas with 19 points from seven games (6-0-1).
In other news, Alex Ring scored the winning goal for Finland as they defeated Iceland 1-0 in Helsinki.
NYCFC’s midfield enforcer netted the only goal of the game with a stunning free-kick to give his nation a victory which leaves them with four points after seven games.
Finland return to action on Tuesday night when they take on Kosovo in Shkoder.
Finally, Rodney Wallace was an unused substitute for Costa Rica as Los Ticos defeated USA 2-0 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison.