Marcos Senna will finish his career in the United States after ending his 11-season association with Villarreal to sign for New York Cosmos.
The Brazilian-born Euro 2008 winner with Spain had been heavily linked with the re-launched franchise, who are returning to professional football in the North American Soccer League in 2013.
The midfielder, now 37, told Superdeporte that he would be back at Villarreal some day, but was now looking forward to a new challenge across the Atlantic.
"I want to live a new experience and get to know a country like the United States,” Senna said. “I will come back here though, as this is my home."
And upon completing the move he told the club's official website: "This is a very special moment for me in joining the Cosmos because I face a new challenge, but at the same time it has been a difficult decision to leave Villarreal after 11 seasons. I want to thank Giovanni Savarese, Remy Cherin and my agents Ely Coimbra and Hector Peris for helping me make this move possible."
Senna made 363 appearances for Villarreal, and was a key player as the Yellow Submarine knocked out Manchester United, Rangers and Inter Milan on the way to the 2006 Champions League semi-final, under then-coach Manuel Pellegrini.
The former Sao Caetano man said it had been difficult to finally decide to leave, but his mind was now made up.
"This was a tough decision but I thought about it a lot," he said. "It is something I have had in my head for a while. I believe now is the moment."
Senna, who stuck with Villarreal when they were relegated from La Liga on the last day of the 2011-12 season and played 33 times in La Segunda as his team bounced straight back up, felt the campaign just past had been one of the most satisfying of his career.
He said: "One of the biggest successes has been to return the team from where it never should have left, which is the Primera Division."