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Villarreal CF

Villarreal CF is a football (soccer) club from Spain.

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About Villarreal CF

Villarreal Club de Fútbol, S.A.D. , usually abbreviated to Villarreal CF or just Villarreal, is a Spanish La Liga football (soccer) club based in Vila-real, a city in the province of Castellón (province) within the Valencian Community. Founded in 1923, the team plays at the 24,890-seat El Madrigal stadium.

The club is nicknamed El Submarino Amarillo (Yellow Submarine) due to its yellow home kit, and due to being a low-profile team compared to Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Valencia CF who they have challenged for trophies over the last decade.


Early years

Villareal CF was founded as Villareal CD on 10 March 1923 "to promote all sports especially football". The stadium was rented for 60 pesetas a month and ticket prices were set at half a peseta for men and a quarter of a peseta for children. Women were granted free admission. On June 17 CD Castellón, a modern rival of the club, played the first match, against a club named after Cervantes. On October 21 that year Villareal played their first game ever, playing against Castellon.


Villarreal entered regional competitions within the Spanish football pyramid from 1929–30 onwards. The 1934–35 season saw the team lose to Cartagena CF when a win would see them promoted to the nationwide Second Division. The two-legged play of was against Sociedad Deportiva Compostela. Villarreal hosted the first leg which was a 0–0 draw, but the second leg at the home of the Galician team was a 1–1 draw, thus Villarreal were promoted on the away goals rule.

Primera Liga debut

Villarreal's Primera Liga debut started with a match against then European Champions Real Madrid C.F. in the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium on August 31, 1998. The first home game was against Celta de Vigo


In Summer 2003 they defeated the Dutch team SC Heerenveen in the final of the UEFA Intertoto Cup, thereby qualifying for the UEFA Cup of the upcoming season. In their major European debut, Villarreal reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League, losing to neighbours and eventual champions Valencia CF. In the league, Villarreal finished 8th.


In Summer 2004 Villarreal retained the UEFA Intertoto Cup, beating compatriots Atlético Madrid on penalties after the final finished 2–2 on aggregate. This qualified them to the UEFA Cup. They lost in the quarter-finals of the 2004-05 UEFA Cup to Dutch side AZ (football club), losing 3–2 on aggregate. During the same season, Villarreal finished in 3rd place in La Liga, earning the club their first direct qualification to a European tournament; the UEFA Champions League. The club's centre-forward Diego Forlán won the Pichichi Trophy for top scorer in the league, with 25 goals.


Villarreal defeated the Premier League's Everton F.C. in a play-off for the Champions League group stages. The group saw Villarreal go undefeated, drawing both games against Manchester United and achieving a draw and a win each against Lille OSC of France and S.L. Benfica of Portugal. The win over Benfica was away and both teams advanced to the last 16.

The club then drew 3–3 against Rangers F.C. of Scotland in the Last 16, advancing on away goals due to a 2–2 draw at . In the quarter-final Villarreal beat F.C. Internazionale Milano on away goals after finishing 2–2 on aggregate. The club bowed out in the semi-finals against Arsenal F.C., losing 1–0 away at Highbury. Juan Román Riquelme had a penalty saved by Jens Lehmann in the home game, which finished 0–0. Arsenal went on to lose in the final in Paris to another Spanish club, FC Barcelona.

Villarreal finished 7th in La Liga, which only earned an Intertoto Cup position.


Villarreal contested the Intertoto Cup in Summer 2006 and was knocked out in its first game, to Maribor of Slovenia. The first leg was lost 2–1 at home and the away game was a 1–1 draw. The team came 5th in La Liga.


Villarreal gained their best league position this season, finishing 2nd to Real Madrid, and also reached the last 32 in 2007-08 UEFA Cup. After defeating BATE Borisov of Belarus in a play-off, the team won Group C unbeaten. Their group opponents were ACF Fiorentina of Italy, Czech club Mladá Boleslav, IF Elfsborg of Sweden and AEK Athens F.C. of Greece.

In the last 32, Villarreal were defeated by eventual champions FC Zenit Saint Petersburg, losing the first leg 1–0 in Russia to a Pavel Pogrebnyak goal. The second leg was won 2–1 by Villarreal at El Madrigal but Zenit advanced on away goals.


Villarreal has supported a long rivalry with CD Castellón for geographical reasons, since both are from the province of Castellón (province). They also rival Valencia CF, since the two are the most competitive teams of the Valencian Community; this clash is called the "Derby de la Comunitat".


- Villarreal's biggest league win at home has been achieved three times. The score of 5–0 was the result against UD Salamanca (1998–99 in Segunda), Celta de Vigo (2002–03 in Primera), and CD Tenerife (2009–10 in Primera). The most goals in a game was 6, at home to Racing Santander in 2003–04 (Primera).

- The largest away win was at UD Las Palmas by 5–1 in 2000–01 (Primera) and 4–0 at Real Sociedad in the same league during the 2004–05 season. After remaining as the club's official kit for some time, the yellow shirts and blue shorts combination was last worn in the 2002–03 La Liga season, and the club has since sported all yellow kits. Away colours have often been navy blue.

From 2005 to June 30, 2011 the shirt sponsor was "Aeroport Castello", an airport. Since that date they have worn unsponsored shirts. The kit is made by the Chinese company Xtep, having previously been produced by Puma AG of Germany.



- La Liga
- - Runners-up (1): 2007–08 La Liga

- Segunda División
- - Promotion (2): 1997–98 Segunda División, 1999–2000 Segunda División

- Segunda División B
- - Runners-up (2): 1987–88 Segunda División B, 1991–92 Segunda División B

- Tercera División
- - Winners (1): 1970


- UEFA Champions League
- - Semi-finalists (1): 2005-06 UEFA Champions League
- UEFA Europa League
- - Semi-finalists (2): 2003–04 UEFA Cup, 2010-11 UEFA Europa League
- UEFA Intertoto Cup
- - Winners (2): 2003 UEFA Intertoto Cup, 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup

Season to season

- 9 seasons in Segunda División
- 4 seasons in Segunda División B
- 23 seasons in Tercera División
- 23 seasons in Divisiones Regionales de Fútbol

Top scorers in Primera Liga

- 1998–99: Gheorghe Craioveanu 13
- 2000–01: Víctor (footballer born 1974) 14
- 2001–02: Víctor (footballer born 1974) 14
- 2002–03: Jorge López Montaña 8
- 2003–04: Sonny Anderson 12
- 2004–05: Diego Forlán 25 (Pichichi Trophy winner for most in all league)
- 2005–06: Juan Román Riquelme 12
- 2006–07: Diego Forlán 19
- 2007–08: Nihat Kahveci 18
- 2008–09: Joseba Llorente 15
- 2009–10: Nilmar 11
- 2010–11: Giuseppe Rossi 18

Nickname and mascot

The team is nicknamed El Submarino Amarillo (the Yellow Submarine) because of their yellow strip. The mascot (named Groguet, "Little Yellow") is characterised as a submarine in human form. He made his debut on the 26th October 2001 and was named in December 13 that year by a local 12 year-old, Javier Fuster Almela, following a province-wide competition open to under-15s.

Notable players

Due to being a lower-league club for most of their history, very few Villarreal players have played at international tournaments. In the 2006 World Cup one Villarreal player was selected in Spain's squad, the Brazilian-born midfielder Marcos Senna. Mexican forward Guillermo Franco was selected for his country, who were elmiminated by Argentina national football team, whose squad included his team-mates Juan Pablo Sorín and Juan Román Riquelme.

For Euro 2008, Villarreal contributed three players to Spain's team, which won the tournament. Marcos Senna was joined by winger Santi Cazorla and full-back Joan Capdevila. The only other Villarreal player in the tournament was Nihat Kahveci, a striker for Turkey national football team, who reached the semi-finals.

In the 2010 World Cup, another triumph for Spain, only Capdevila kept his squad place from two years previous. Central defender Diego Godín played for Uruguay national football team, who finished forth. The striker Nilmar was in the Brazil national football team squad which reached the quarter-finals. The tournament's Best Player and Best Goal award were given to Diego Forlán, another Uruguayan, who played for Villarreal between 2004 and 2007 before joining Atlético Madrid, where he was employed at the time of the tournament.

The numbers are established according to the official website:

Out on loan

Foreign players

- Gonzalo Javier Rodríguez
- Mateo Musacchio
- Marco Ruben
- Alejandro Martinuccio
- Nilmar
- Cristián Zapata
- Marcos Senna
- Wakaso Mubarak
- Giuseppe Rossi
- Jonathan de Guzmán
- Hernán Pérez

Former managers

- Julio Raúl (1990–91)
- Carlos Simón Server (1991–92)
- David Vidal (1995–96)
- José Antonio Irulegui (1996–99)
- Joaquín Caparrós (1999)
- Paquito García Gómez (1999-00)
- Víctor Muñoz (2000–03)
- Benito Floro (2003–04)
- Manuel Pellegrini (2004–09)
- Ernesto Valverde (2009–10)
- Juan Carlos Garrido (2010–2011)

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