The Beatles gave them their nickname, and the equivalent of 36% of their home town's population are club members: UEFA.com fathoms Villarreal's depths.
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Nicknames: El Submarino Amarillo (The Yellow Submarine)
UEFA club competition honours
• UEFA Intertoto Cup winners: 2003, 2004
• Villarreal have been nicknamed 'The Yellow Submarine' since 1968, two years after the famous Beatles song was released. The association began with fans playing the song at El Madrigal and, in view of their team's colours, chanting to the same tune: "Amarillo es el Villarreal/amarillo es/amarillo es" (Villarreal are yellow, they are yellow).
• The Yellow Submarine have not been lucky in semi-finals. They lost 1-0 on aggregate to neighbours Valencia in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup semis, missed out to Arsenal by an identical margin in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League last four, and were then well beaten by eventual winners Porto in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League semis.
• Villarreal are the UEFA Europa League's highest-scoring club with 82 goals and have also registered the most victories in the competition – 26, one more than both Benfica and Sevilla.
• Radamel Falcao may be one of the club's least favourite players. The Colombian netted five goals across the two 2010/11 semi-final legs for Porto, and a year later, with new employer Atlético Madrid, struck the goal that relegated Villarreal on the last day of season 2011/12.
• Villarreal fight well above their weight; with a capacity of 24,500, El Madrigal could accommodate nearly half of their home town's 51,850 population. However, the club boast a relatively huge membership of 18,456 (equivalent to nearly 36% of Villarreal/Vila-Real's population). Villarreal is the second smallest town ever represented in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals (after Monaco: population 38,000).
• Juan Román Riquelme showed them the way. The Argentinian playmaker was the driving force behind their sensational UEFA Cup debut campaign of 2003/04 and equally instrumental to that famous UEFA Champions League tilt, cruelly missing a late penalty against Arsenal. "I would always want him in my team," said former team-mate Diego Forlán, who top-scored in the Liga in 2005. "Riquelme showed me football is easy," added another Villarreal old boy Robert Pirès. "I was very lucky to play with him and always wanted to play like he did."
• Villarreal president Fernando Roig comes from a family of sporting club directors; older brother Paco was president of Valencia and younger sibling Juan owned Valencia's basketball side. Fernando himself had shares in Valencia but fancied taking on a team of his own and, in May 1997, picked Villarreal, 60km from his native Valencia. At the time, Villarreal had never been in the top flight and were fighting for survival in the Segunda División. Just over a year later they were promoted to the Liga, and eight years on were playing in the UEFA Champions League
• Villarreal opened their youth academy on the site of an orange grove after Roig's arrival. It has borne plenty of fruit since: first-teamers Mario Gaspar, Bruno Soriano, Adrián Marín and Matías Nahuel came up through the ranks, while Manu Trigueros, Jaume Costa and Mateo Musacchio developed in their reserve sides.
• The club's Argentinian connection is strong. Walter Gaitán, signed in 1998, was the first of many Argentinians to land at El Madrigal: Riquelme, Juan Pablo Sorín, Rodolfo Arruabarrena, Gonzalo Rodríguez and goalkeeper Mariano Barbosa featured in the 2005/06 vintage, while Luciano Vietto hit 20 goals in the Liga and UEFA Europa League in his breakthrough campaign after joining from Racing Club in 2014 – before moving to Atlético last summer – while Rosario natives Musacchio and Nahuel remain at the club, along with Barbosa who returned in 2015.
• Villarreal started the 2011/12 season in the UEFA Champions League but ended up getting relegated – the second Spanish team to suffer that fate after Celta Vigo in 2003/04. The Yellow Submarine handled demotion well; Roig sold a chunk of his stake in the Mercadona supermarket chain to alleviate the club's debts and offloaded some high-earners but kept a base of important players like Bruno, Gaspar and Musacchio. Coach Marcelino subsequently spearheaded a successful promotion push after inheriting, mid-term, a faltering side and later oversaw a stellar return to the top flight in 2013/14, Villarreal coming sixth to qualify for the UEFA Europa League.