What’s new, Manchester United?
Villarreal, who face the English team again 13 years later, share curious stories with the English team
Villarreal and Manchester United will meet again 13 seasons later. Few footballers remain active of those who played the last game between the two teams, which, as in their previous three, ended with a goalless draw. Diego López or Cazorla at Villarreal enjoy their last seasons in the world of football, while Cristiano Ronaldo or Carlos Tévez hasten their careers at Juventus and Boca Juniors.
Many years have passed since then without the European bass drums having matched them again. And it will have to be with a title at stake when they meet again. However, and despite the tremendous distance that separates the history and economic potential of both entities, there are not a few stories crossed in his path.
In the summer of 2004, Villarreal negotiated with the red team for the first time. The reason was none other than the signing of the Uruguayan Diego Forlan, who would end up being a key player in the history of yellow club. Roig’s dream at that time was to make a friendly match with the English team to visit Madrigal in the Ceramic Trophy, at that time Villarreal’s summer tournament.
But Sir Alex Ferguson’s answer was that Villarreal were no match for United. Roig issued a sentence that would be fulfilled shortly after: “Someday you will have to come to play out of obligation.”
The 0-0 draws and Rooney’s kick
Four times they have met in the Champions League, United and Villarreal, and in all of them they have tied without goals. Whoever breaks the badge first can win the prize of a European title. A year after refusing to play in Vila-real, Manchester became the first visitor in the history of Madrigal in a Champions League match.
The “red” figure at the time, Wayne Rooney, was sent off in the 64th minute. With considerable anger he kicked it out with a metal door into the locker room tunnel. The dent was never repaired and remains as a reminder of that first match at today’s Estadio de La Cerámica.
Senna’s “no” to Manchester
After his spectacular 2005-06 season and after playing the Champions League semi-final, Manchester noticed Marcos Senna. Ferguson contacted the Brazilian Hispanic, but the negotiations dragged on and the Brazilian opted to renew with the La Plana club.
“It was a great opportunity for me, but I preferred to stay and renew with Villarreal who made an effort to make me stay. I did well because very good things happened to me here and I have never regretted it.” One more reason to be a true idol for the yellow fans.
Ex on both teams
The one of Forlan It was the first case of a footballer to wear both shirts, but not the last. The Uruguayan’s departure made Villarreal repeat the formula of betting on a young talent from the British team and the success was total with the arrival of Giuseppe Rossi. Both are, together with Gerard Moreno, the best scorers in the history of the Castellón club.
The inverse path was traveled by the Ecuadorian, Antonio valencia. With hardly any opportunities in Vila-real he ended up making a career in the Premier until signing for United. There he was a watchword for 10 seasons in which he played more than 240 games and won two Premiers, a Europa League and several cups.
The last case has been that of Eric Bailly. The Ivorian center-back was transferred by Villarreal to United de Mourinho in the summer of 2016 in exchange for almost 38 million euros.