Keeping up with the best
Keeping up with the best

Today is 18 years since Villarreal’s first victory in the First Division, with more wins than losses in total

Today, 27th September 2016, marks 18 years since Villarreal CF’s first win in the top flight of Spanish football. The Submarine beat Salamanca 5-0 at El Madrigal stadium and gave the fans their first taste of joy in the First Division. The heroes of that match were all the players, but the three goal scorers stood out: Craioveanu, who scored the first and second goals, Antonio Díaz and Manolo Alfaro, who also scored two goals, the fourth and the fifth.    

Last Sunday against Osasuna, Villarreal picked up their 250th win in the First Division over the 17 seasons the club has played in the top flight. In fact, the Submarine has achieved more wins than losses (199) throughout their history in the First Division, keeping up with the pace of the best teams in Spanish football: Real Madrid (1622 wins and 560 losses), FC Barcelona (1557 wins and 618 losses), Atlético de Madrid (1221 wins and 769 losses), Valencia CF (1176 wins and 847 losses), Sevilla FC (972 wins and 880 losses) and Athletic Club (1194 wins and 909 losses).

In this way, Villarreal are above 54 teams in the win-loss category as throughout their history serving in the First Division they are only beaten by the six aforementioned teams (there are 61 teams in total counting Villarreal). In addition, the Submarine is one of only seven teams in history to have played in LaLiga that has a positive goal difference, with 845 goals scored and 760 goals against (+85).

Up until the match against Salamanca, played on Matchday 4 in the league, Villarreal had lost against Real Madrid (4-1) in the first, drawn against Celta de Vigo (1-1) in the second and lost against Valencia (1-0) in the third.

That season, Villarreal were managed by José Antonio Irulegui and the team was made up of historical players such as Pascual Donat, current club delegate, and Craioveanu, among others. Since that 98/99 season, Villarreal have played 17 seasons (including the current one) in the First Division, in 13 of which they have also played in European competitions.