Villarreal will continue in Gdansk the idyll of Spanish teams with the Europa League, which since its inception in 2007 has seen Sevilla win five times and Atlético twice. This massive contribution explains both a hegemony and the importance of what in social terms is defined as the middle class, whose football volume is transcendental in Spanish football. Villarreal is one of its most significant representatives, a signature club in a small town in Levante, exemplary for the consistency of its results and the effectiveness of its model, located at the opposite of that represented by Manchester United, its adversary in the final.
It is not one of those miracles that abound in football, a frequent witness of meteoric takeoffs and dizzying crashes. In 1998 he entered the First Division and since then he has distinguished himself much more by success than by disappointment. Three brief stays in the Second Division represent little compared to the enormous amount of satisfaction that Villarreal has provided.
What was a small great project has become a great reality, which exceeds the performance of the team in all these years. Directed by Fernando Roig, the club has been exemplary in all chapters. The attention to detail is hardly rivaled in the league. From the first moment, Villarreal took care of the grass with an unknown beauty by the vast majority of the teams. It was much more than a basic commitment of the club to football. It deserved to be interpreted as a message by elevation: little Villarreal was willing to do things with dedication and good taste.
It took him very little time to settle in First and make himself felt. Also to acquire an identity. Villarreal has tried to choose a type of player and coach who is ascribed to a model closer to teams with great claims than to those bent on survival. It has been as consistent in this chapter as in its desire to illuminate one of the most fertile quarries in Spanish football. In recent years, Villarreal’s youth teams have been among the best on the national scene, with a brilliant production, reflected in the First Division. Pau Torres is one of its flags. Yeremi Pino points out excellent manners. Several European teams are pursuing the hiring of Pedraza.
Villarreal is more than just an ambitious and well planned project. It conveys a conceptual impression, a great idea that goes beyond the frontier of results. That everything has happened in the small universe of a town of 40,000 inhabitants could be interpreted as a miracle, but it is not. The singularity of its success does not respond to an astral conjunction. It rests on an excellent and effective organization, the clarity of the objectives, the coherence of the process and the forcefulness to avoid that the troubles of football, and Villarreal knows some, affect the stability of the model.
If the team communicates something, it is the revenue from a job well done and the merit as a springboard to progress. More than a club, it has become the indisputable benchmark of football that refuses to capitulate to the pressure of the opposite model: elitist, disintegrating and unreservedly committed to the commercial side. His scenario does not include small cities, clubs with limited resources, or teams that come from the deepest divisions and feel entitled to progress and conquer their dreams.
The game between Manchester United, an old football patrician, and Villarreal, the most suitable club to carry the flag of football without exclusions, but with unlimited ambitions, refers to this abysmal divergence.