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Villarreal CF’s most special moments of 2023
Villarreal CF’s most special moments of 2023

The club has experienced sporting success, witnessed historic milestones and celebrated its centenary

2023 is coming to an end and for Villarreal CF it will always be remembered for having been the year of the club’s centenary celebrations, with a wide variety of unprecedented activities in the club’s history.

Beyond the centenary events, which involved and excited the whole of the Yellow’ family, the Submarine experienced great moments on a sporting level and even some of its most emblematic players achieved records that will remain in the history of Villarreal and the world of football.

1. The emotion of the Centenary Party

Held on Friday 10th March 2023, the great Centenary Party was an unprecedented show on the pitch of the Estadio de la Cerámica. Around 20,000 Yellows fans were thrilled by this spectacular event, which featured the participation of seven associations, seven bands from the province of Castellón and seven artists, a total of more than 600 people on stage.

This artistic performance concluded with the prestigious Nacho Cano, composer of the club’s centenary anthem, who performed this very special piece live.

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2. The legends return to La Cerámica

Villarreal CF organised ‘The Legends Match’. This exceptional event paid tribute to the club’s former players from different eras and held a match between the most emblematic former Yellow Submarine players and a team of Spain Legends, former players who have played for the Spanish national team.

At this event, the best XI in the history of Villarreal CF, chosen by the fans through the club’s official website, was unveiled.

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3. The Samu Chukwueze show and a victory at the Santiago Bernabéu (2-3)

Villarreal beat Real Madrid (2-3) in one of the best games of the year in LALIGA. Despite falling behind to start the game, the Submarine turned the scoreline around with a historic display from Samu Chukwueze, who led the second win at the Santiago Bernabeu with two fantastic goals.

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4. Villarreal return to the Europa League

Villarreal CF secured their presence in European competitions for another season. After a thrilling last-gasp 1-2 win in Girona, the Yellows secured their participation in the UEFA Europa League for the first time after lifting the title in 2021.

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5.  Reina reaches the 1,000-match mark

Pepe Reina broke an impressive record for longevity in elite football. The yellow goalkeeper reached his 1,000th game as a professional footballer against Cádiz CF (Matchday 36 of the 22/23 season). This impressive figure is within the reach of very few players in the history of world football.

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6. Villarreal keep three teams in the elite

Villarreal B and Villarreal Women achieved survival in their respective divisions (Segunda División and Liga F) after a demanding campaign for both Miguel Álvarez’s men and Sara Monforte’s warriors.

The Mini Submarine finished 18th with 50 points. Their survival was mathematically achieved on Matchday 40 against UD Las Palmas (1-1) with a goal from Mbacke. For their part, Villarreal Women had to fight until the final stretch of the last game of the season to reach survival with a historic goal by Fatou Kanteh against Athletic Club in Lezama (1-1).

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7. Gerard becomes the top Villarreal CF scorer of all time

Gerard Moreno wrote his name in golden letters in the history of Villarreal CF. The prolific Catalan striker scored his 107th goal for Villarreal CF against RCD Mallorca (Matchday 2 of the 23/24 season), overtaking Adriano García to become the Submarine’s all-time top scorer. The Yellows No.7 continued to add to his goal tally until the end of 2023, and he currently has a total of 115 goals to his name.

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8.The perfect tribute to José Manuel Llaneza

Villarreal CF paid a special and emotional tribute to José Manuel Llaneza, former vice-president of the club. As a tribute, the club held an event to honour his memory and renamed the Training Ground in his honour on 20th October 2023.

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9. Morales’ hat-trick

José Luis Morales scored three goals in the 3-1 win over CA Osasuna (Matchday 14 of the 23/24 season). The striker from Madrid, who had already scored three goals against Austria Vienna the previous season, repeated the feat in domestic competition.

Morales thus joins Juan Román Riquelme, Diego Forlán, Ikechukwu Uche, Cédric Bakambu, Carlos Bacca, Gerard Moreno, Arnaut Danjuma and Yeremy Pino, who have all scored three goals in a top flight match for Villarreal CF.

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