Kuwaiti-based Villarreal fan Ahmad, known to his friends as ‘Villarreali’ has been following the Yellows since 2004. He says the link with Argentinean players led him to support the Submarine: “I was a fan of the Argentine national team, and Villarreal had a lot of players from there, such as Juan Román Riquelme, Juan Pablo Sorín, Gonzalo Rodríguez, ‘El Vasco’ Arruabarrena, Mariano Barbosa and Luciano Figueroa. I started to follow Villarreal every week, and I got attached to them, and it became the most important thing in my life.”
Despite living more than 6,000 kilometres away in Al Jahra, Ahmad has visited the Estadio de la Cerámica five times, seeing the Yellows take on Real Sociedad four times, while most recently he saw his beloved side take on Sporting Club in the Round of 32 of the 2018/19 Europa League.
Ahmad says he has a number of favourite moments from his time following the Yellows, listing the win over Almería to secure promotion back to LaLiga in 2012 as one, and the victory over Real Madrid (0-1) in 2017/18 as another, but he says there is one that stands out: “There are a lot of beautiful memories, but the most prominent of them is when we overcame Inter Milan in the quarter-finals of the Champions League with Arruabarrena’s goal after a Riquelme cross.”
The Kuwaiti went viral on Twitter after uploading a video of him watching the Yellows lift the UEFA Europa League with family, but he says he normally watches by himself. “Most of the time, I like to watch Villarreal alone at home because of the psychological pressures that come to me before every Villarreal match.”
Ahmad wanted to sign off by explaining why he loves Villarreal: “I love Villarreal. It’s not just admiration of the club from outside of Spain, but Villarreal is the most important thing in my life. It controls my life, as victory makes me happy until the next match, and if we lose, I hate watching football. In the Arab world, supporting Villarreal is a strange thing, and people always ask me why I support the club. But I have been in love with the club for 17 years, and every day my love and passion for the club increases. I share news in Arabic on Twitter and I run a WhatsApp group talking about the Submarine with fans from across the Arab world.”
Here at Villarreal CF, through the series 'Yellows Around The World', we are telling the stories of some of the Submarine's biggest international fans.