“Great news after the bad news…”
That was David Villa’s take on the appointment of Domènec Torrent as New York City FC’s Head Coach on Monday afternoon.
Just hours after it was announced that Patrick Vieira would depart after 2.5 years to take up a new role at OGC Nice, Torrent was revealed to be the successor, joining from sister club, Manchester City.
No one at NYCFC knows Torrent better than the club captain, who reunites with Torrent after a wildly successful two-year spell together at FC Barcelona under Pep Guardiola.
Together, they won nine trophies between 2010 and 2012, including La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.
Villa told NYCFC.com: “It was a difficult day because in the morning, we found out that Patrick is leaving. Patrick was so important for the club and for us, so it was a difficult day of news but after that, when we found out that Dome and his staff were coming to replace Patrick, it was great news after the bad news.
“I know him and I know some of his staff. I think it’s the right and best person we could have to replace Patrick. Finally, it was a difficult day in the morning but a happy one in the afternoon.”
David admits that losing Patrick midseason is a difficult situation but feels that NYCFC couldn’t have a better replacement in the shape of Torrent, a man with a wealth of experience of helping teams lift the game’s biggest prizes.
Villa continued: “It’s one of the great situations being part of the great City Football Group. Not so many clubs in the world would have the opportunity to have this style of commitment.
“Knowing Patrick and knowing Dome and knowing how they work, I don’t believe the team will be affected a lot in the change. Every coach has their own situations or decisions but Dome is a similar style of coach to Patrick.
“It’s always hard to change coach in the middle of the season, I’ve been through it before earlier in my career, it’s a difficult period but, in this case, thanks to the City Football Group and this commitment between the clubs, I think it’s not so hard to change the coach in the middle of the season in this situation.”
Guardiola once described Torrent as “the other half of me” as the pair went on to create three of the greatest sides seen in the modern era of the game, dominating the Spanish, German and English leagues.
For David, Domènec is “a man of soccer” and is the perfect person to continue building NYCFC.
Villa added: “Dome is an important man on Pep’s staff. He’s been successful for all these years. Everybody talks about Pep, and me included, as one of the best, if not the best, coach of the last 15 years and Dome was with him helping every day, growing as a coach in different countries, at different, difficult clubs like Bayern, Barcelona and Manchester City.
“He’s a man of soccer, he knows everything, he has a great style that he’s been working on for the last 15 years. It’s great for us to have here. I know his personality too because I worked with him for years at Barcelona which was a great experience for me because we captured so many trophies.
"They were great years for me in my career – I am so happy – it’s great news for NYCFC because we can continue growing the team and growing the club.”