Making history between the sticks
Making history between the sticks

Sergio Asenjo is now the goalkeeper who has played the most top-flight games for Villarreal

Sergio Asenjo is now part of Villarreal’s living history. Last Saturday, he became the goalkeeper who has played the most top-flight games for Villarreal, with 172 games, beating Diego López’s 171.

Asenjo joined Villarreal in the 2013/14 season, and has played 199 times for Villarreal. That’s split between 172 in the league, 16 in the Europa League, two in the Champions League and nine in the Copa del Rey.

These 199 games make him the goalkeeper who has played the second most games for Villarreal, behind López, who featured 230 times for the Submarine.

After both of those players, the goalkeeper next on the list is Pepe Reina, who featured in 147 matches, 109 of them in the league. López Vallejo (143 games – 78 in the league) and Sebastián Viera (89 matches – 75 in the league) follow him.

“I’m really proud of the achievement”

Asenjo underlined his happiness at reaching this record: “I’m happy to be the goalkeeper with the most top-flight games for Villarreal. I’m proud that I can get past a great goalkeeper like Diego López, someone I looked up to when I was younger. Hopefully I can increase this figure.”

Asenjo has impressive stats, taking into account the two injuries he had which ruled him out for almost all of the 2014/15 and 2016/17 seasons. “It’s true that after the injuries, I’m really happy to be able to play so many matches and reach this figure. I’ve played a lot and I hope to continue playing for a long time. Injuries are difficult moments, but I faced them with all my strength, and was determined to get over them, which I did,” he added.

If he plays against Levante this Saturday, Asenjo will reach 200 games for the Yellows. It will be a tough game. “Levante are a hard opponent to face and we know that we want to get three points at home. We didn’t get a win we could have in Valladolid. At home we’re strong, despite losing to Espanyol. I believe you can trust in us at home and we want to continue like that,” he analysed.

He underlined his optimism and ambition ahead of the future: “The Valladolid game shows what we should do. It’s obvious that the first half isn’t how we should play, but the second half is the path we need to follow. At half-time, we looked each other in the eyes and we saw the reaction after. This was a team that struggled to get out of adverse situations and change the way matches were going, but you could see in Valladolid that we knew how to react.”

Villarreal are in the top half of the table, but Asenjo wants more. “We’re going to face these games aware that it is a key moment to reach our aims, we know the importance of getting these points at this stage of the season and we need to get good results to be in the European spots,” he concluded.