UEFA Cup 2004/05
Still haunted by their elimination in the Semi-finals of the 2003/04 UEFA Cup against Valencia CF, Villarreal CF got to play in Europe's second biggest competition again after winning the Intertoto Cup two years in a row. In this edition of the UEFA Cup, the Yellows reached the Quarter-finals, where Dutch side AZ Alkmaar were the ones to put an end to their dreams this time.
Before reaching the Quarter-finals, Villarreal CF had to overcome three knockout rounds and the Group stages, where they had to compete against four different teams. Hammarby were the first opponent, but the Submarine easily took down the Swedish side winning 1-2 in the away leg and with a clear 3-0 victory at El Madrigal.
Then in the Group stages, the Submarine won two and drew two, thus finishing undefeated; with a 1-1 draw against Lazio, 2-0 win against Middlesbrough, 1-1 against Partizan and 4-0 against Egaleo.
The Yellows' opponent in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup Round of 32 was Dynamo Kiev. The first leg took place in the Ukraine under a heavy snowfall, greatly affecting the match which finished in a 0-0 draw. Soon after though, the knockout was sentenced at El Madrigal in a match where the Yellows were clearly superior and won 2-0 with goals from Lucho Figueroa and Santi Cazorla.
In the Round of 16, Villarreal CF played against FC Steaua București. The first leg was played in Romania and finished in a 0-0 draw, but the second leg at El Madrigal was a different story. José Mari scored the first goal with a precise header from a corner, then Riquelme put the game to bed with a goal from the penalty spot.
The Submarine's dream finished in the Quarter-finals though. AZ Alkmaar stood in their way and managed to beat Villarreal CF at El Madrigal (1-2) and follow that with a draw at home (1-1) to take them through to the Final.