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The sharpshooter in Tercera RFEF wears yellow
The sharpshooter in Tercera RFEF wears yellow

Jonathan Arriba is the top scorer in the league with 14 goals

Jonathan Arriba Monroy (Vall de Uxo, 2001) is one of the standout players for Villarreal C this season. The striker is the top scorer in Tercera RFEF with 14 goals, something that makes him ‘very happy’, but isn’t what he’s most bothered about. “I go onto the pitch to play and enjoy myself, and if I’m lucky enough to score a goal, that’s great, but the most important thing is that the team wins,” says Arriba.

After spending last season on loan at CD Roda, the Villarreal C striker is currently enjoying his second season at this level. Tercera RFEF is a division where, according to Arriba, you can tell the age difference between his side and the other teams “Most of all, in the first games of the season, you can tell the difference, as the opposition have a lot of experience,” said the forward. However, he underlined that “youth can be an advantage to speed up the play.”

As well as Arriba’s 14 goals this season, Jorge Pascual, his attacking partner, has 11. Arriba only has good things to say about his team-mate: “On the pitch, we link up really well. He’s a great guy too, which also helps the team.” Beyond the friendship, you can see the good connection between the two on the pitch. “Due to my playing style, I like to play alongside a bigger striker with other characteristics, it helps me,” explained the striker, who joined the academy aged 12.

Arriba is able to continue his formation with Villarreal C, which is an intermediate step between the U19s and Primera RFEF, where Villarreal B play. “Other teams send you straight to their B team from the U19s, and if it doesn’t go well for you, they get ride of you,” mentions the attacker, adding: “I didn’t play a lot ast U19 level, but I had the chance last season to go on loan to Roda in Tercera, and it was a success for me.”

Arriba’s good performances so far have been noticed by coaches outside of Villarreal C, with Miguel Álvarez, Villarreal B head coach, giving him the chance to make his debut with the Mini Submarine against Algeciras. The striker recognises that debuting with the B team was something ‘very special’ and that he will continue working hard to ‘get more opportunities.’

Born in Vall de Uxó, ‘Jonny’, as his team-mates know him, is ‘lucky’ to be able to play football near his hometown. The striker underlines that playing ‘next to home’ and being able to be close to his family makes ‘everything easier’.

Also a decade as a Yellow

This is Arriba’s ninth season in the Yellows Academy, so, should he stay at the club for yet another season, he will receive the traditional ceramic yellow submarine that players who have spent a decade at Villarreal CF receive.