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The Provincial Council pays tribute to Llaneza
The Provincial Council pays tribute to Llaneza

The institution has posthumously awarded the Merit in Sports of the province of Castellón to the former vice-president of the club

The Castellón Provincial Council (Diputación de Castellón) has paid a beautiful and special tribute to José Manuel Llaneza. The institution posthumously awarded the Villarreal CF executive with the province’s Sporting Merit for his excellence in management at the yellow club, where he worked for 28 years as executive, CEO and vice-president.

This emotive recognition was collected personally by his daughter, Mar Llaneza, last Friday 5th May in the Auditorium of Castellón, in the framework of the celebration of the Gala of the Day of the Province.

José Manuel Llaneza (Puçol, 20th July 1948) José Manuel Llaneza (Puçol, 20th July 1948) is one of the great architects of Villarreal CF’s brilliant history. The executive from Valencia served as executive, CEO and vice-president during his 28 years at the club.

In May 1994, he landed in Vila-real under the guidance of Pascual Font de Mora, former president of the club. He arrived as executive and took charge of a humble club which, at the time, was enjoying a good sporting moment and was playing in the Second Division.

With Llaneza at the helm, the club was professionalised and stabilised at a key moment, when the club had just become a Sports Limited Company (Sociedad Anónima Deportiva, SAD). Three years after his arrival, in 1997, on the occasion of Font de Mora’s illness, the then Yellow manager convinced Fernando Roig to take over the club.

Thanks to the good work of José Manuel Llaneza, a new project was born which, with the crucial arrival of Roig, aspired to what at the time seemed impossible: promotion to the first division. Just as Font de Mora had done, Roig placed all his trust in Llaneza to continue at the helm of Villarreal CF.

Under his leadership, Villarreal were promoted to the top flight and consolidated their position as a leading club in Spain and Europe. In 2010, after more than 15 years at the helm, he was appointed vice-president of the club, a position he held until his death in 2022.

With Llaneza on the board, Villarreal CF achieved international recognition through sporting success. The UEFA Europa League title in Poland (2021) was the crowning glory of the club’s excellent run and the culmination of the fantastic project of the Roig family and José Manuel Llaneza. His great achievements also include two UEFA Champions League semi-finals (2006 and 2022) and a runners-up finish in LaLiga (2008).

José Manuel Llaneza’s contribution to Villarreal CF goes far beyond the sporting sphere. Under the guidance of Fernando Roig, he promoted important reforms in the old El Madrigal, now known as Estadio de la Cerámica, to turn it into one of the most modern and avant-garde stadiums in European football.

He also led the construction of the Training Ground, which, as a tribute, now bears his name. A high performance centre for the first team, which also promotes the development of the youth teams, which he turned into the cornerstone of the club’s ambitious project.

With his impeccable work and faithful dedication throughout his immaculate career at Villarreal, José Manuel Llaneza earned the respect, love and admiration of the football world. His great work was recognised on countless occasions. He received the Gold Badge of Villarreal CF in 2016, the Gold Medal of the Football Federation of the Valencian Community in 2020 and the Gold Medal of the city of Vila-real in 2022.