Football

Published: Thursday June 5, 2014 MYT 12:58:40 PM
Updated: Thursday June 5, 2014 MYT 12:59:38 PM

Spain striker Villa to play stint with Australian club

Atletico Madrid's David Villa reacts after a missed opportunity during their Spanish first division soccer match against Elche at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid April 18, 2014. REUTERS/Juan Medina

Atletico Madrid's David Villa reacts after a missed opportunity during their Spanish first division soccer match against Elche at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid April 18, 2014. REUTERS/Juan Medina

(Reuters) - Spain's all-time leading goalscorer David Villa will play a three-month stint with Manchester City-owned Australian club Melbourne City before returning to New York City FC for the start of the Major League Soccer season.

The 32-year-old, who hopes to help Spain defend their World Cup title in Brazil this month, will turn out for the club formerly known as Melbourne Heart between October and November, the A-League team said in a statement on Thursday.

"From a football point of view, it’s the opportunity to play in a new league in a different country, and of course it will be ideal for me to get some competitive football in the period before the MLS season gets under way," Villa said in the statement.

The City Football Group earlier on Wednesday confirmed a long-mooted name change for the Melbourne club, bringing it in line with the Premier League team and sister club New York City.

In its fourth and final season playing under the name Heart, Melbourne finished bottom of the 10-team A-League.

(Reporting by Anna Harrington; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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