Villarreal CF has presented to the media the international academies project, which sees the club have academies across the world. Moreover, it unveiled the project that has just got underway in North Texas, with the creation of a new academy as part of the Yellows family.
José Manuel Llaneza, vice-president of the club, emphasised that the main objective of the creation of the academies is to implement the club's values around the world: "This club, like every other club, needs to sell part of its assets. We are clear that we aren't going to sell a million shirts, like a club like Real Madrid, Barça or Liverpool can do. However, there is something that we can sell, and that is our form of working at youth level, and the belief in a distinct style of football, focusing on our values and the formation we provide. We're a humble club, but a top club because we work really well with kids. We make them see different things, such as the Endavant presentation that we did this week. We will try and make them watch LaLiga in the background, but we want them to follow Villarreal in their blood."
Juan Antón, International director, explained the more technical part of the project: "We want to have a very good project, and one that is a long-term project. We consider that our way of understanding football and the local community is positive for everyone. What Villarreal is proposing is to give a methodology base to the academies, so they can take away all of the good things that we have been working on here in the last 22 years and that they can adapt it to their community. This starts by giving them a very intense training session on what Villarreal culture is, to explain the formation that is going to take place in the academy throughout the year, and to start our relationship with them with more of a friendship than just a collaboration agreement." Furthermore, Antón highlighted that the difference between Villarreal's academies and those of other clubs is the complete implication, adding: "We're going to give everything that we can, both on a technical level and a human one."
Finally, Giovanni Vázquez, technical director of Villarreal North Texas Academy, recognised, that the hard work from the Yellows, as well as the treatment he's received, has been exceptional: "Since I've got here, everything has been great. From the youngest to the oldest players, they all play amazingly and you can't tell the difference in the age. It's something that's really impressive for me, because it's not something that happens everywhere. In a lot of places, you can see the difference between the age groups. I've been really impressed by the way that Villarreal work. The way that they play speaks for itself, but what is the most interesting thing is that all the children, both the youngest and the oldest, know all the professional players, and that's something that's really cool. What's more, they've treated us really well. We've arrived at a massive club, one that's known throughout the world, and they've treated us like family from the start. I'm going away with lifelong friends. They haven't only given us the Villarreal name, but they've got everything ready for our future academy, and that's something we're grateful for."
Vázquez also admitted that during his visit he realised the importance that personal and individual treatment has. "We've learned that the footballing aspect isn't the only important thing, as not all of the children who go through our academy will become professional players. However, we can make them prepared for their lives. It's something really important to us, that we can help the kids in life if we can't help them in football. That's something that we've seen the value of here, in the club, from the first moment."