Nickname: Submarino Amarillo (Yellow Submarine)
UEFA club competition honours
• Just three months after their formation the club began renting what became known as El Madrigal, playing their first friendly at the stadium in October 1923. Villarreal have spent much of their history in Spain's regional divisions; it was not until the 1990s that the small-town club set about an ambitious and impressive rise to the top.
• In 1990/91 Villarreal made the step up to the third tier, won promotion the following campaign and in 1997/98, under club president Fernando Roig, coach José Antonio Irulegui's team finished fourth and entered into a play-off with SD Compostela for a place in the Spanish top flight. Having only managed a 0-0 draw at El Madrigal the odds were against Villarreal, but in the return Alberto Saavedra's goal earned a 1-1 draw and the Submarino Amarillo prevailed.
• Villarreal were relegated after just one term in the Liga, but they bounced back immediately and this time cemented a place in Spain's top flight. European success arrived with the 2003 UEFA Intertoto Cup triumph followed by a run to the UEFA Cup semi-finals the same season, losing out to local rivals Valencia CF 1-0 on aggregate.
• Further UEFA Intertoto Cup success in 2004 led to another tilt at the UEFA Cup and this time time to the quarter-finals. A third-placed Liga finish in 2004/05 – with Diego Forlán top scorer – took Villarreal into the UEFA Champions League, Everton FC being defeated in the third qualifying round to book a place in the group stage.
• Manuel Pellegrini's men embarked on a run all the way to the tournament's semi-finals, Arsenal FC eventually ending Villarreal's party. In 2007/08 the club finished second in the Liga, their highest ever placing, and returned to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals in 2008/09 where they again lost out to Arsenal.
Most appearances: Rodolfo Arruabarrena (284)
Most goals: Diego Forlán (59)
Record victory: 6-1 v NAC Breda (UEFA Europa League, 27 August 2009)
Record defeat: 0-6 v Valencia CF (Copa del Rey, 14 April 1993)
* Last updated 1 June 2011
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