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24 years since the arrival of Fernando Roig
24 years since the arrival of Fernando Roig

The current Villarreal CF president arrived at the club on 15th May 1997

Today, 15th May 2021, it’s the 24rd anniversary of a historic moment for Villarreal CF. Fernando Roig took over the club’s presidency in mid-May 1997 and since then, the club hasn’t stopped growing, with a number of joyful moments. The agreement was made public on 15th May 1997 at the Avenida 41 restaurant with the presence of Roig and the club’s president until that date, Pascual Font de Mora.

With Roig in charge, Villarreal have been promoted to the top flight of Spanish football on three separate occasions. Roig took the reins of the club as the principal shareholder in May 1997 and promised an ambitious future, where he had the intention of seeing the club ‘in two year’s time’ being in the top-flight of Spanish football. The president’s promise came early, as in the first year in charge of the club, he made history. Villarreal CF were promoted to the top flight, delighting the whole town.

As the years have gone on, both the team and the club have grown with gigantic steps. Currently, Villarreal CF has two training grounds and the spectacular and reformed Estadio de la Cerámica.

Roig has made Villarreal grow on a worldwide sage, not only for the club’s performance as a team, but also as a brand. Renowned signings such as Martín Palermo, Juan Román Riquelme, Diego Forlán and Robert Pirès, among others, have made the Submarine well known across the international football panorama. Furthermore, other big stars came from the Yellows Academy, such as Bruno Soriano and Santi Cazorla.

Each season, the squad was more competitive, and more moments of success arrived, such as reaching the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 2005/06, being LaLiga runners-up in 2007/08, reaching the UEFA Cup semi-finals in 2003/04, the UEFA League semi-finals in 2010/11 and 2015/16 and the Copa del Rey semi-finals in 2014/15. You also need to take into account that this season, the Submarine have reached their first major final. They will face Manchester United for the UEFA Europa League title on Wednesday 26th May (9pm CEST, Gdansk).

Including the current season, with Roig as president, Villarreal have played 21 top-flight seasons, of which 14 the Yellows have been in European competition too (16 including the Intertoto Cup). Impressive.

Of all the LaLiga presidents, Fernando Roig has been in charge for the longest time. Let’s hope there are many more years under him.