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Sporting CP: a historic and prestigious first opponent
Sporting CP: a historic and prestigious first opponent

Villarreal will face the historic Portuguese side in their first pre-season match

Villarreal CF will face Sporting CP this Thursday at 10pm at the Estádio Algarve in Faro (Portugal) The Portuguese side are the first pre-season rivals for Unai Emery’s side.

Sporting CP are a historic side. Founded in 1906, they have a total of 50 trophies to their name. The side from Lisbon start a new season after an excellent campaign in Portugal, where they won the Portuguese Super Cup and ended up runners-up. They also reached the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League, where they were knocked out by Manchester City.

The team, led by Rúben Amorim, have a lot of talent and youth in their ranks. Gonçalo Inácio, Matheus Nunes and Pedro Gonçalves are some of the standout youngsters. They also have Spain internationals such as Pablo Sarabia and Pedro Porro.

Sporting CP also stand out for their ability to produce talent from their academy, with world-renowned players such as Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Nuno Mendes (PSG) and Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) being some of their academy graduates.

Villarreal CF and Sporting CP have faced each other twice previously in official matches, in the Round of 32 of the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League. The Yellows won at the José Alvalade (0-1) thanks to an Alfonso Pedraza goal. In the second leg, at La Cerámica, Pablo Fornals’ late goal ensured Villarreal would head through to the next round after Bruno Fernandes levelled the tie before half-time (1-1).