Witnesses of the semi-final lost to Arsenal lift Villarreal’s spirits: “It’s our moment”

Senna, Barbosa, Peña, César Arzo and Héctor Font, survivors of the fateful night of Champions, harangue the team before a new historic appointment.

I remember it as if it were yesterday. “With these words, and with the reflection of the memory on his face of that great lost opportunity, Mark Senna, one of the great idols in the history of Villarreal, becomes one of the protagonists of the video with which the yellow team remembers the Champions League semi-final who played in the 2006 against Arsenal. And with which he tries to harangue his own for the game next Thursday against the same rival.

The La Plana club launched a video on its social networks on Monday afternoon with several footballers of those who participated in that historic tie before the whole “gunner”. Mariano Barbosa, Juanma Peña, César Arzo, Héctor Font and Marcos Senna himself, protagonists of that team trained by Manuel Pellegrini and that left on the way to sets of the entity of the Inter or Manchester United before facing the last previous stumbling block to reach an entire final of Champions in its first participation.

With images of that game, with a full field up to the flag and sadly with him famous penalty saved by Lehman to Juan Román Riquelme in the minute 90 that would have brought the yellows to the extension. “We fight and we leave our souls until the end“, recalls the Bolivian Juanma Peña, while Héctor Font and César Arzo, the two Vila-real footballers who were part of that squad, recall how they stayed “11 meters from glory” and how that night “they cried with the fans.”

Despite the extraordinary regularity experienced for two decades by the Fernando Roig’s project, The truth is that the submarine has never been so close to touching the footballing sky as on that occasion. After losing by a goal to zero in the first leg disputed in the ancient Highbury, the group led by Juan Román Riquelme faced the return with the moral that gave the deed of eliminate Inter in the quarterfinals. That night the cpeople from Asturias were clearly superior and they enjoyed very clear occasions to unbalance the balance in their favor in the boots of Guille Franco and Diego Forlán. But fate reserved a particularly cruel outcome after the euphoria broke out with Clichy’s penalty on José Mari already at minute 90. Riquelme, who had not failed any maximum penalty with Villarreal, he added his to the list of cursed penalties in football history

This week 15 years have passed since that game, and history has wanted to provide the Villarreal the opportunity to scare one of his biggest ghosts against the same rival. The video concludes with Marcos Senna: “But we have a new opportunity.”

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