Vissel Kobe forward David Villa will finish his playing career at the end of the season, the former Spain international announced Wednesday.
The 37-year-old, who will become the leading investor in a new club in the United States, has been among the J-League's top scorers this year, netting 12 times in 26 games.
"I want to retire on my own terms. It feels like the time for that decision has come," Villa said.
Spain's all-time leading goal scorer, Villa recently confirmed on Twitter his involvement in the creation of New York-based Queensboro FC, which will debut in the second tier of U.S. soccer, the USL Championship, from 2021.
Villa followed in the footsteps of former Spain and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta when he joined Vissel from U.S. Major League Soccer side New York City FC last December.
Owned by e-commerce giant Rakuten, Vissel have sought to establish themselves as Japan's glamor club with a series of big-name signings from overseas, but the moves have yet to translate to significant success on the pitch.
Villa was a member of the Spanish team who won the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, finishing the tournament as joint top scorer.