Villareal model: Soccer’s New Reality?

European Supercup 2021 fallout: The Soccer world watched with so much enthusiasm as Unai Emery’s Villareal, stood toe to toe to Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, As both European Champions from Last Season squared off To officially kick start the European Football season.

Chelsea is surely one of the absolute powerhouses of World club soccer boasting a team of players, assembled at a cost of over 5 times that Of Villareal Fc.

Chelsea went on to arguably, deservingly win the encounter by 6 goals to 5 on penalties. I say Arguably deservingly, due to Chelsea’s enterprising first half performance and the total goal scoring chances created all through the game. At one-point Villareal seemed like heading for victory though.

With the expected financial backlash set to hit most clubs in world soccer, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, how will clubs without deep pockets, the likes of Villareal Fc, rival against Financial “deep pocket Giants” like Chelsea, Man. City,  Bayern Munich,Juventus , Manchester United , PSG etc just to name a few?

Well this much above awaited European Supercup 2021 fixture showed us that it is not only possible, but could be the next “in” thing.

Founded in 1923, Villareal has spent much of its history in the lower divisions of Spanish football and made their LA LIGA debut only 23 years ago. With constant positive management and discipline, Villarreal gained some league stability making its first appearance in the UEFA Champions League in 2005.

In 2012 a shocking and seeming disaster struck Villareal, as it got relegated to the 2nd division. Not to be held down, It remarkably rebounded  the next year and has remained in the top division to date.

With the arrival of former Arsenal and FC Seville Coach, Unai Emery in 2020, Villarreal won its first major honour in 2021, by defeating Manchester United in the 2021 UEFA Europa League Final with an extraordinary show of determination, passion and above all, a well-structured game plan, all the while fielding little or no renowned super stars, achieving all this with a relatively modest budget .

Looking at Villareal FC from a Technical and tactical point of view, one cannot fail to enjoy a team that plays with “pre-planning” ranging from how to attack and defend based on the “present” opposition’s strength and weaknesses . It most importantly plays to win using to the maximum, selective aspects in variation, of their own collective qualities.

This is extremely hard to achieve and is only possible in soccer when an extremely well-choreographed Philosopher and “cerebral” Coach, or management is in total control. Unai Emery Is clearly one!

Taking on Chelsea, they seemed to play with the conscious knowledge that, player for player they were not on parity with Chelsea, but by deciding carefully, when, where and how to attack, press, defend, and most importantly, what Chelsea players they gave time on the ball and which ones they denied time, they narrowed the gap and at times, looked the better team.

With resources now looking lean due to Sponsors struggling with the effects of Covid 19, it seems almost inevitable that the “Villareal-model” could be the most judicious if not the only model to adopt: A model where a team is built meticulously, choreographed in combination with discipline, passionate players with coaches that build teams from the scratch and not just necessarily buy or assemble extremely expensive players to win silverware.

Villareal is not a lone star at this; Lille Football Club did it in France by depriving star studded Paris Saint Germain of the French Title just some weeks back, Villareal has done it now on a bigger stage twice, The European Stage!

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