David Villa could still win a recall to the Spain squad, head coach Julen Lopetegui has revealed.
The former Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia striker has been stuck on 97 caps – from which he has scored 59 goals – since his last appearance at the 2014 World Cup against Australia.
Now 34, Villa has been in prolific form for New York in MLS, scoring 23 goals in 33 league games this season as his side finished second in the Eastern conference, with the play-offs still to come.
And Villa may yet get the opportunity to reach 100 international appearances, with Lopetegui impressed by what he has seen of him since his move to the United States.
“I went to New York with my wife, I took advantage and watched Villa play,” Lopetegui told Onda Cero, referring to New York’s 4-1 home win over Columbus Crew on Sunday in which the striker scored.
“The truth is that I saw him very well and playing with a lot of intensity.
“Villa continues to play at a very good level and in the future we will see if he can return.
“We don’t close the door to any player and we always have consideration for players that can help the national team
“Villa is well, playing with a lot of rhythm, scoring lots of goals and showing a great attitude.
“He is a player who has done priceless things for Spanish football.”
Villa won Euro 2008 and the World Cup in 2010 with Spain, although he missed out on their Euro 2012 triumph having suffered a broken leg.
He is the country’s record goalscorer, well clear of second-placed Raul, who scored 44.