Calleja: “I want to see a victorious Villarreal”
Calleja: “I want to see a victorious Villarreal”

The head coach underlines that he is ‘more motivated than ever’ after his contract was renewed

Villarreal manager Javi Calleja underlined his excitement in the press conference that officially unveiled his renewal on the Yellow Submarine bench for the upcoming two seasons: “I want to say thanks for the trust that they’ve shown in me. I’m very excited and I’m more motivated than ever. We want to change the suffering from this season to joy. I feel stronger. To be able to manage the club that I love is a source of joy. I will look to get the most out of the players to fight for important things. Now I feel like a better manager. We’ve experienced many difficult moments, but we’ve come out the other side,” he commented.

Calleja recognised that the season just finished should be used as a lesson for everyone: “We started the season badly, and at the end we turned things round. At every moment I felt the support of the president and that’s a great responsibility and a source of pride. I’m where I want to be in a club that I feel a lot of things for.”

As an objective, Calleja highlighted that the sky is the limit, beyond staying up, which is the first aim: “The main objective will be to confirm survival as soon as possible, and from there, to get into Europe. Last season has hardened us all and it made us value being in the top flight a lot.”

In regards to how the team plays and possible reinforcements, Calleja is clear: “I want to see a victorious Villarreal, with the best squad possible. We already have very good players, but we need to strengthen some positions. We have to work hard so the team is in control from the start. Not playing in Europe means how we use the squad will be different, and that will affect the composition of the squad.”

The head coach underlined the path to follow: “We need to be more consistent and less like a rollercoaster. We want to show all our potential. The aim is to be in charge of every match. We need to restructure the team to make the squad as competitive as possible.”

Fernando Roig: “Calleja is the ideal coach for this project”

Villarreal president Fernando Roig backed Calleja in the press conference. The man at the top of the Yellows hierarchy confirmed that for him, the man from Madrid is the right coach to lead the project: “It wasn’t easy, but we managed to save a season after we found ourselves in a complicated situation. We have to think that being at the top of Spanish football is very complicated. What we have to do is work even harder and even better. Because of that, we thought that Calleja was the ideal coach for this project.”

Roig emphasised the tightness in the Spanish top flight. “With the TV rights, there is more equality and more competition. Every year there are more clubs that aspire to do what Villarreal have done in recent seasons. Competition is good for Spanish football. Money used well will pay off.”

For the Yellows president, survival will be the first challenge: “The aim for the season will to be confirm survival as soon as possible. From that point, we will be able to dream. We aren’t putting Europe as a goal. The team’s target will be to stay in the top flight, although without giving up at any stage on anything. We need to be aware of the difficulty of the league. This year will definitely serve as a great learning experience.”

Finally, Roig wanted to send a message to the Yellows fans: “The supporters need to realise how difficult it is and we need their hope. Next year we’re not going to be playing in European competition, but we can try and get back to qualifying for it. The club and the fans deserved to be in the top flight.”

Javi Calleja, un entrenador formado en la #CanteraGrogueta

Javier Calleja Revilla (Madrid, 12th May 1978) was promoted to the Villarreal first team at the end of September 2017. In his first campaign at the reins of the Yellow Submarine, he was capable of leading them to UEFA Europa League qualification, after finishing an impressive fifth in LaLiga.

In the season just finished, Calleja was at the helm on two separate occasions. After competing 15 matches as Yellows boss, the coach returned to the first-team bench at the end of May to help the team reach its goal of top-flight survival, which saw an impressive end of the season and the team reach the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

Calleja was formed as a coach in the Yellows’ youth system, arriving at the club seven seasons ago to train the U16s. From there, his rise was meteoric, winning three División de Honor leagues with the U19s, as well as a Copa de Campeones. Last season, before becoming first-team boss, he has a short spell as Villarreal B manager, where he was unbeaten.

As a professional footballer, Calleja played for Villarreal’s first team in one of the most important eras of the club, reaching the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. Furthermore, he played for CD Onda when it was affiliated with Villarreal, as well as for Real Madrid C, RSD Alcalá, Málaga CF and CA Osasuna.