Manager – Marcelino Garcia Toral
Captain – Bruno Soriano
Stadium – Estadio El Madrigal
Nickname – El Submarino Amarillo
Rivals – Castellon and Valencia FC (Derby de la Comunitat)
Founded in the year 1923 Villarreal CF is one of the 20 teams that is going to be a part of the upcoming 2015/16 La Liga season. Villarreal CF made their debut in the 1st division during the 1998/99 season and since has been a part of La Liga season part from two seasons.
In total Villarreal has been a part of 16 of the 83 La Liga seasons till date. For a comparatively small club Villarreal have challenged the big boys of Spanish football like Real Madrid and Barcelona over the last two decades. Villarreal are yet to win any major domestic trophies but have won the UEFA Intertoto Cup on two occasions.
Villarreal share strong rivalries with CD Castellon and Valencia FC. The matches between Villarreal and Valencia are called Derby de La Comunitat. Villarreal play their home games at Estadio El Madrigal in Villarreal which houses a capacity of 24,890 since 1923.
Villarreal FC Beginnings
Villarreal CF was formed as Club Deportivo Villarreal on March 10th, 1923 with the aim of prompting the game of football in the city. Villarreal played their first ever game against their modern day rivals Castellon CD at the Estadio El Madrigal which has been their home since their formation.
Villarreal CD played mostly in friendly matches against teams from in and around the city before entering the Spanish regional competitions during the 1929/30 season. The football club initially played with white shirts and black shorts.
Villareal Trophy Cabinet
Copa del Rey
Villarreal made their first appearance in the Copa del Rey competitions during the 1969/70 season when they were playing in the Tercera division and made an exit from the competition in the third round.
Till the 2014/15 season Villarreal’s best performance in the Copa del Rey was a number of quarter-final appearances. In the 2014/15 season Villarreal registered their best ever performance in the competition by reaching the semi-finals where they would lose to eventual winners Barcelona (6-2) on aggregate.
Villarreal have spend most of their history outside the top 3 divisions of Spanish football. The club made their debut in the La Liga during the 1998/99 season but got relegated from the division after losing the relegation play-offs after finishing 18th in the league.
Villarreal immediately bounced back by winning promotion for the 2000/01 edition of the La Liga after finishing 3rd in the Segunda division the previous season and scraping through on a better goal difference. Unlike their previous stint in the top division they had a strong season eventually finishing 7th and narrowly missing out on the European spots.
Since the turn of the century Villarreal have spend all but one of the seasons in the La Liga and their best ever placing in the division came in the 2007/08 season when they finished second behind winners Real Madrid. Villarreal finished 6th in the recently concluded La Liga season and will take part in the upcoming season’s Europa league.
Villarreal has had considerable success in European competitions when considering the fact that they became a potent force in Spanish football only towards the turn of the century. Villarreal’s major trophies till date have come in European competitions namely the Intertoto cup which they won on two occasions in 2003 and then 2004.
Villarreal have also participated in the Champions League and Europa league competitions. Their best ever placing in the Champions League was a semi-final appearance which they managed in the 2005/06 and made their exit after losing to Arsenal 1-0 on aggregate.
They have managed to reach the semi-finals stage of the Europa league on two occasions once in 2003/04 and then in 2010/11. In the 2003/04 they made their exit from the tournament after losing to eventual winners Valencia 1-0 on aggregate. In the 2010/11 edition they once again lost to the eventual champions FC Porto this time 7-4 on aggregate.
Best Villareal Managers
Jose Ignacio Lopez Sanjuan
Though Sanjuan never managed Villarreal while they were in the La Liga, he played a crucial role in the getting the club back to the 2nd division with two successive promotions while they were in the fourth tier of Spanish football. Sanjuan managed Villarreal for two seasons between 1990 and 1992.
Muñoz managed Villarreal for a total of 3 seasons between 2000 and 2003. Muñoz led Villarreal to a 7th place in their second ever season in the La Liga during 2000/01 and steadied the yellow submarines as a top flight club. Muñoz also led them to their first major title – The Intertoto Cup in 2003 beating Dutch club SC Heerenveen 2-1 in the finals.
Benito Floro managed Villarreal FC on two occasions first time in 1988/89 when they were in the Segunda division B. His second stint between 2002 and 2004 was more successful as he led them to their second and last Intertoto Cup in 2004 when they beat Atletico Madrid on penalties in the final.
The Chilean manager took over as Villarreal manager in 2004 and led them to 3rd place finish in the league and thereby earning qualification for the UEFA Champions League. In their first ever season in the Champions League he led to the semi-finals of the competition before making an exit after being beaten by Arsenal 1-0 on aggregate.
In the 2007/08 season Pellegrini led Villarreal to their best ever finish in the La Liga – 2nd finishing 8 points behind eventual champions Real Madrid. He left the club in 2009 going on to manage Real Madrid but Pellegrini to this day is remembered as the most successful manager to have coached the club.
Marcelino Garcia Toral
Marcelino Garcia Toral is the current manager of Villarreal having joined the club in 2013. In his two seasons with the club thus far and has led them to two successive 6th place finishes in the league and also led them to the Copa del Rey semi-finals in the recently concluded Spanish season. He won the La Liga Manager Award of the month in September 2013 while being with Villarreal.
Best Villareal Players
Diego Forlan joined Villarreal during the summer of 2004. Forlan made his debut for the club against rivals Villarreal in 2004 and ended up scoring in a losing effort.
He would spend a total of three season with the club from 2004 to 2007 making 128 appearances for the club in all competitions and scoring 58 goals.
He won the Pichichi trophy as well as the European Golden Shoe in his first ever season with the Yellow Submarines in 2004/05 after scoring 25 goals in all competitions.
Presently Diego Forlan plays for Inter de Milan.
Diego Forlan Skills and Goals:
Pires joined the club during the summer of 2006 on a free transfer from English club Arsenal. He spend a total of 4 seasons with the Valencian club making over a 100 appearances in the La Liga and contributing 13 goals to the team. He played a crucial role in 2007/08 when Villarreal challenged for the La Liga title finishing as runners-up in the end.
Juan Roman Riquelme
Riquelme played for Valencia from 2003 to 2007 for a total of 4 seasons. The first of those two seasons with Villarreal was on loan from Barcelona and he permanently made the switch to the Valencian club in 2005. He played a total of 145 appearances for the club scoring 45 goals and also won two Intertoto cups in 2003 and 2004 with them. While at Villarreal Riquelme also won the Don Balon Award in 2004/05 (award given to best foreign player in the La Liga).
Marcos Antonio Senna da Silva
Marcos Antonio Senna da Silva otherwise known as Marcos Senna is a Brazilian born Spanish international who spend most of his career with Villarreal. Senna joined Villarreal in 2002 from Brazilian club Sao Caetano and would play for the Yellow Submarines till 2013 making over 350 appearances and scoring 33 goals in total. Senna also won the 2003 and 2004 Intertoto Cups while playing for Villarreal.
Rodolfo Martin Arruabarrena
Rodolfo Arruabarrena was an Argentine international that played for Villarreal from 2000 to 2007 making over 250 appearances for the club in all competitions and scoring 11 goals in total. During his time with the club Arruabarrena won the 2003 and 2004 Intertoto Cup and also played in their 2005/06 Champions League campaign were they would reach the semi-finals.
*Learn the history of all La Liga Clubs.