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At the top of the footballing world
At the top of the footballing world

Villarreal were named as the best club in the world in December 2004 by the IFFHS

The International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) named Villarreal CF as the best club in the world in December 2004 in its Club World Ranking. That season, the Yellows were managed by Manuel Pellegrini and had stars such as Juan Román Riquelme and Diego Forlán in their ranks.

The Yellows hadn’t started the league season well. In mid-November, they were 15th in LaLiga. However, the Yellow Submarine improved considerably in the last month of the year. In that unforgettable December, Villarreal beat Getafe (1-2), Málaga (3-0) and Egaleo (4-0), as well as drawing against Partizan (1-1), Real Madrid (0-0) and Albacete (2-2). Without a single defeat, the Yellows moved up five positions in the table, into tenth.

The Submarine started 2005 like they finished the previous year. They put in a memorable second half of the season, allowing them to finish third in the table and to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history.

That fantastic Villarreal side was led on the pitch by two of the best players around at the time: Diego Forlán and Juan Román Riquelme. They formed an unforgettable bond that helped the Yellows reach some of their best ever moments.

In the 2004/05 season, the Uruguayan striker won the Golden Boot, scoring 25 goals in LaLiga. The Argentine star’s numbers were impressive too, with ten assists, the highest in the league, while also scoring 15 goals.

The IFFHS named the best club in the world every month from 2000 to 2013. After the passing of its president and founder, Alfredo W. Pöge, the International Federation of Football History & Statistics stopped doing so, and now currently only names the best club each year.

In 13 years, only nine Spanish sides were given that achievement. As well as Villarreal, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, RC Celta, Real Zaragoza, Valencia CF, Sevilla FC, CA Osasuna and Atlético Madrid were also named the best team in the world in the IFFHS Club World Ranking.