Sports

Soccer icon David Villa to host camp at Queens College

Photo courtesy of Maria Matteo Major League Soccer player David Villa (second from the right) announced partnership with QC on April 13.
Photo courtesy of Maria Matteo
Major League Soccer player David Villa (second from the right) announced partnership with QC on April 13.

David Villa, 2010 FIFA World Cup champion, held a press conference at the Rosenthal Library Auditorium on April 13 to announce that his DV7 Soccer Academy is heading to Queens College’s Summer Camp.

Villa—Spain’s all-time top goal scorer and team captain of the New York City Football Club—will partake in training sessions with children ages 8 to 16, while observing their play and providing feedback. He looks forward to the partnership with QC.

“In this camp I want to teach the children the concepts and the values that I have learned throughout my soccer career. It is an unparalleled and special opportunity to be able to begin this project in such a diverse and soccer-passionate community as Queens,” Villa said.

Villa spoke on a panel with QC President Félix Matos Rodríguez, Director of Villa’s DV7 Academy Josep Gombau Balaguer and New York State Assembly Member Francisco P. Moya.

Earlier this year, Villa opened the first DV7 Soccer Academy in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.

Moya facilitated the association with Villa’s academy and looks forward to the potential of the partnership.

“I am thrilled to see the DV7 Academy come to fruition jointly with Queens College. Not only am I a die-hard soccer fan that sees the potential to help young people throughout Queens by learning the world’s beautiful game, I could not pick two organizations I believe in more to unite on this effort,” Moya said.

The Academy will run for two sessions from July 25 through July 29 and Aug. 1 through Aug. 5. It will be daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will cost $695 per week. Participants will receive two full DV7 Soccer Academy kits. This includes jerseys, shorts, socks, and an Adidas mini soccer ball signed by Villa and a certificate of completion for David Villa’s DV7 Soccer Academy at Queens College Summer Camp 2016.

Professional soccer coach Gombau Balaguer is the director of the David Villa Football Academy. He is the former director of FC Barcelona Escola and has experience coaching both professional and youth leagues. To him, the objective of the camp is to improve players’ fundamentals.

“It is a great pleasure for me to be part of the David Villa’s DV7 Soccer Academy at Queens College Summer Camp. Our goal is to transmit to young players the Spanish soccer philosophy using technical concepts such as running with the ball, dribbling, control passing, shooting and decision-making. We will implement these concepts while offering a fun and exciting experience to all the children in our camp,” Gombau Balaguer said.

Rodríguez expressed his excitement over the opportunity being presented to the QC community.

“We are grateful to Assembly Member Francisco P. Moya for bringing Queens College and the legendary David Villa together to create an opportunity for children to learn the game of soccer under the eyes of a first-rate team of coaches,” Rodríguez said.

This isn’t the first time Queens College has hosted a camp featuring a professional athlete. Back in August 2013, nine-time NBA All Star Carmelo Anthony held a two-day basketball camp at QC.

The QC men’s soccer team was also in attendance. Among them was senior Isaiah Kossinne, an international student from London. He saw the event as more than just an announcement, but as motivation to improve his own game.

“It’s inspirational to people, especially me, it just makes me want to go grab a football and want to progress and develop my skills. You could see my teammates, there were excited about it, there are a few Spanish players on our team, so it’s like a dream come true for them,” Kossinne said.

After the press conference, Villa answered questions and took photos with students and others in attendance. For senior Aitor Gurrutxaga, who is also from Spain and plays for the Knights, the event presented a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“It’s amazing to have David Villa in the school because you never have a chance to see the perspective of a professional player, especially a big star in the soccer world. It’s also great to have a chance to ask him some questions, have him look at you. For those who follow soccer, it’s great to see how humble and how much of a good person he is,” Gurrutxaga said. “He’s going to give more importance to Queens College.”

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