Akiko Odagawa, a Japanese Villarreal fan in Canada
Akiko Odagawa, a Japanese Villarreal fan in Canada

The Villarreal fan started to follow the Yellow Submarine in 2004

Akiko Odagawa is a Japanese Villarreal fan who lives in Canada, where she currently works. The Yellows fan started to follow the Yellow Submarine in 2004, when Diego Forlán joined the team. She started to follow the club because the Uruguayan forward was her favourite player, but despite his departure, she fell in love with Villarreal.

“I remained supporting Villarreal because I fell in love with the team, the town of Vila-real and the passionate fans,” said Odagawa. What’s more, she added that the UEFA Champions League run in 2005/06 helped strengthen her love for the Yellows: “It was a David and Goliath storyline.” Odagawa has also recognised that Villarreal’s success inspired her personally, adding that one of the reasons that she fell in love with Villarreal was because of the club’s youth set-up which means that they don’t need to spend a lot of money to build a competitive team.

The Japanese fan has visited the Estadio de la Cerámica twice. The first was in the 2010/11 season when she saw the first leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-finals against Porto. The following season, Odagawa returned to La Cerámica for a league match against Atlético Madrid. She has also seen two Villarreal matches as an away fan, one against Mallorca and another against Valencia at Mestalla. She watches the other games from home, while she listens to Radio Vila-real at the same time.

Odagawa says she has two best moments following Villarreal: the promotion back to LaLiga in 2013 and the UEFA Europa League win in 2021. “I have great memories of that final,” she says. Finally, when asked who her favourite Villarreal player of all time was, she is unable to stick with just one, naming Santi Cazorla and Bruno Soriano.

Here at Villarreal CF, we are telling you the stories of some of the Yellow Submarine’s biggest international fans with the ‘Yellows Around The World’ series.