Villarreal Club de Futbol SAD are traditionally one of the smallest clubs in Spain based in Vila-real, a small town of population just under 50,000 in the province of Castellon. But since the start of the 21st century, this club has transcended to one of the most consistent and rising forces in Spanish football. They play their home matches at the 23,000 capacity Estadio El Madrigal.
Villarreal were founded in 1923 and have played in the regional leagues for most of the time since then. It is amazing to note that they reached the Segunda Division in Spain only in 1970 and played for two consecutive seasons there after which they were relegated back to the Third Division.
Finally the modest club managed to steer themselves to the Spanish first division for the 1998/1999 season but had to swallow the humble relegation pie as soon. But they bounced back to the first division immediately and have consolidated their place in La Liga with some force since then.
Villarreal have been on the rise since the start of this century and under Chilean coach Manuel Pelligrini, they qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the 2005-2006 season after finishing fourth the previous season. They even had the audacity to reach the semi-finals of the most elite club competition in the world that very season. They had the Argentine enigma Juan Roman Riquelme to thank for their ascendancy in Spanish football as it was he who was the inspiration behind Villarreal’s dramatic rise in status in Spain.
This season too Villarreal are on a high and have almost qualified for next season’s Champions League. They are known as the Yellow Submarine to their supporters and under the leadership of coach Manuel Pellegrini and the backroom control of the president Fernando Roig, they are certainly gliding through.