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“José Manuel Llaneza was, is and always be special for us”
“José Manuel Llaneza was, is and always be special for us”

The Villarreal president led a tribute in which his family, the team, the town, fans and LALIGA took part

Villarreal celebrated this Friday the renaming of the Training Ground in honour and memory of José Manuel Llaneza. The ceremony, led by president Fernando Roig, also included speeches from the mayor of Vila-real, José Benlloch; the president of the APV (Official Villarreal CF Supporters Club), Javier Pérez; José Manuel’s daughter, Mar Llaneza; the head of the LALIGA presidential office, Víctor Martín; and the first team footballer and Yellows academy graduate, Álex Baena.

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Fernando Roig, during his speech.

Fernando Roig: “José Manuel Llaneza was, is and will always be special for all of us”

The Villarreal president’s key statements were as follows:

“We thank all of you who have come. José Manuel was, is and will always be special for so many people. We are here to remember him. It is just a year since he left us. It has been a difficult year for his family, for the club and for all the fans. From the very first moment, it was clear to us that we had to pay tribute to him and name the Training Ground after him.”

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Álex Baena took part in the tribute.

Álex Baena: “We miss him a lot”

Villarreal player Álex Baena, speaking on behalf of the squad, said: “We miss him a lot. We remember him a lot. We do it when we wear the Villarreal shirt, when we play or when we go to the Training Ground. I also remember him when I score a goal. I will always be grateful to him for everything he did for me and my family. He was always a very special person.”

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The Vila-real mayor also took part in the event.

José Benlloch: “He gave his all for the club and also for the town”

Vila-real’s mayor, José Benlloch, addressed those present to pay tribute to Llaneza on behalf of the town: “He was a special person for this town. We gave him the local distinction, the Gold Medal. He did not give in to anyone. He was a vehement man and a fighter. He gave everything for the city and the football team. This tribute is necessary. José Manuel Llaneza will always be present. His effort and his work will remain forever. He is a unique person.”

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Javi Pérez, APV president, spoke on behalf of the fans

Javi Pérez: “We will always carry him in our hearts”

Javi Pérez, president of the Villarreal Supporters’ Club (Agrupació de Penyes del Villarreal – APV) spoke on behalf of the fans: “He was a person who was very much loved by the fans. He was always close to the supporters. He was always attentive to all of us. Not only does he have the name of the Training Ground, he will always have a place in the hearts of the club’s fans.”

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Mar Llaneza was responsible for the most emotional moment of the day.

Mar Llaneza: “This is the best tribute we can pay to him”

Mar Llaneza, daughter of the legendary Villarreal vice-president, pronounced the most emotional words of the beautiful tribute to her father: “It is a very special moment for the whole family. We are very grateful to the club and the Roig family. There is no better tribute we can pay to him. We want to thank you all for the love and support you have given us throughout this year that we have been without him. We all remember him and I know that he will never be forgotten at Villarreal. Your second home now bears your name, Dad.”

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LALIGA was also part of the tribute.

Víctor Martín: “Villarreal and José Manuel have been an example for Spanish football”

Finally, on behalf of LALIGA, Víctor Marín, head of the competition’s presidential office, highlighted the work of José Manuel Llaneza and the good work of the yellow club over the last 30 years: “Villarreal has been an example. A good example for all the teams. It has dragged all the LALIGA clubs to improve and grow in all aspects. It is a big club. Vila-real is what it is because of its ceramics and its football club. José Manuel would be proud of this tribute.”