Villarreal CF scouting report: Everything you need to know
FC Bayern to Villarreal CF for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday. The team from the small city on Spain's east coast qualified for this year's competition as Europa League winners. We've examined Bayern's upcoming opponents.
The Villarreal team
Villarreal boast a good mix of talented and internationally experienced players. A key cornerstone of their play is centre-back Pau Torres, who came through the club's academy and has now established himself in the Spanish national team. Nineteen-year-old Yéremy Pino is a highly rated winger, who has also been selected for the senior Spain squad several times recently. The top goalscorers are attacking duo Gerard Moreno (12 goals) and Arnaut Danjuma (13), who's netted five of his goals in the Champions League. Other household names are Spanish World Cup and European champion Raúl Albiol, Tottenham Hotspur loanee Giovani Lo Celso and former Borussia Dortmund striker Paco Alcácer.
2-0 defeat in dress rehearsal
Villarreal suffered defeat on Saturday afternoon in their final match ahead of the Champions League clash. The Yellow Submarine, as they're nicknamed, lost 2-0 away to Levante UD, who went into the match in last place in the La Liga table. It was a second successive loss for Villarreal, who currently occupy seventh place.
Route to the quarter-finals
The Spaniards pulled off quite an upset in the round of 16 to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals, knocking out none other than Juventus. A 1-1 draw in the home leg was followed by an impressive 3-0 success in Turin. Before that, Villarreal had progressed to the knockout stages as runners-up in Group F behind Manchester United, thanks to a 3-2 win at Atalanta on the final matchday.
Coach Unai Emery
Villarreal have been coached by Unai Emery since July 2020, whose previous clubs include Paris Saint-Germain, Sevilla and Arsenal. The 50-year-old spanish celebrated his fourth Europa League triumph with Villarreal last summer – making him the most successful coach in the competition.
The stadium - Estadio de la Cerámica
The club play their home games at the Estadio de la Cerámica, also known by its long-time former name 'El Madrigal'. The stadium, which opened on 17 June 1923, currently has a capacity of 23,500.
Biggest success last year
Villarreal have yet to win any of the major honours in Spain. The greatest success in the club's history came last season when the Yellow Submarine won the Europa League with a penalty shootout victory (11-10) over Manchester United in the final. They've met Bayern twice before - in the 2011/12 Champions League season, FCB won both matches in the group stage (2-0 away, 3-1 at home). In only their fourth appearance in Europe's premier club competition, it's already the third time that Villarreal have got this far. In the 2005/06 campaign, they even reached the semi-finals. Bayern will be looking to prevent them from repeating that success this year at all costs.
Bayern's dress rehearsal for Wednesday's first leg could hardly have gone better - here are six stories from the victory at Freiburg: