In recent years, the Yellow Submarine has rubbed shoulders with the biggest clubs in the continent (2013-18). Five successful years of glory, of passion. Five years of purely Villarreal CF.
Firmly at the top of the table
Villarreal managed to qualify for European competition for five consecutive years, from the 2013/14 season, when the Yellow Submarine returned to Primera División. In the two first years after returning to the top flight, Villarreal finished a worthy sixth in the table. In the 2013/14 season, the team underlined its comfort on its return to LaLiga, going 18 matches unbeaten in all competitions.
Success continued coming to Vila-real year after year, and in the 2015/16 season, Marcelino García Toral's outfit managed to qualify for the Champions League qualification rounds, after finishing fourth in LaLiga. That season, none of the heavyweights could win at El Madrigal. Moreover, Villarreal finished a matchday top of LaLiga for the first time in their history. It was on Matchday 6, after beating Atlético Madrid.
However, the club would not conform with just that and would continue rubbing shoulders with European giants for two more seasons (2016/17 and 2017/18), ending both seasons in fifth.
Success away from home: From Mestalla to Europe and first win at the Bernabéu
In the first of the those two seasons, it is worth remembering celebrating that deserved Champions League place, which was earned at Mestalla on Matchday 36 in front of the travelling fans. During this time, the Submarine left the Vicente Calderón with wins on two occasions. A goal from Luciano Vietto, in the 2014/15 season, and another from Roberto Soriano, in 2016/17, earned the Yellows a win in two out of three years at Atlético Madrid's old ground. Moreover, in the 2017/18 season, Pablo Fornals' goal earned Villarreal's first ever win (0-1) at the Santiago Bernabéu.
The Estadio de la Cerámica is born
During that season, the old El Madrigal was reborn as the Estadio de la Cerámica, on 8th January 2017, after an impressive remodelling. The 'new' stadium is a representative element of the Castellón province. Furthermore, with this new initiative, the club found a new source of income, as many ceramic companies throughout the province decided to become partners of the project, with presence in façades across the stadium, giving them great visibility both nationally and internationally.
One step away from the Copa del Rey final in 2015
During those five years, the participation in the Copa del Rey was not too much to write home about, except in the 2014/15 season, when the team reached the semi-finals, and could only be stopped by FC Barcelona. In the second leg, El Madrigal rocked in search of a comeback to get to the final. This was definitely a great time for all Yellows fans, who saw their team triumph throughout Spain and throughout Europe, wearing the shirt with pride.