The crowd on the way to El Madrigal on Sunday.
Congratulations to Bruno Soriano, who was named to the Spain squad to face China in a friendly June 2 in Seville, the only warmup game for the squad before the Euros. The full squad is here, and includes callups for Adrian, Isco, and Benfica's Javi Garcia as well. No place for Borja Valero though.
Meanwhile, Villarreal has already begun planning for life in the Segunda. EPM reports that next year's budget will be in the €30+ million range, with the idea to get back to the Primera as soon as possible. Nonetheless, this is about a 50% reduction from this year's budget, so there will clearly be cuts and player sales.
Nilmar, Borja and Zapata are almost certainly gone; Martinuccio is not going to be bought, and interestingly Lizarraga suggests Wakaso may go as well, which is a bit surprising. As for players like Diego Lopez, Bruno, Musacchio, Gonzalo, Cani--the club hopes to keep them but it's unlikely they can all stay. And then there are the loanees, including Uche and Jefferson Montero. As for the coach, Velasquez has been mentioned as an obvious choice, but the EPM reporters feel Villarreal may want a more experienced Segunda coach:
It's good that Sr.Roig is remaining committed to the project, as ex-Villarreal player Craiovanu notes here:
He makes a good point, that the support of the fanbase will be key. It will be quite a chance from playing Barcelona and Real Madrid to hosting Barca B (and maybe Real Madrid's B team as well, who have a good chance to get promoted this year). But we're up for it!
An excellent article in El Pais also, on the club returning to its origins:
Finally, here's a (bittersweet) promotional video with some scense before the match on Sunday. Unfortunately the camera just misses the VillarrealUSA banner, but hey. Can't argue with the sentiment: Ahora más que nunca, endavant Villarreal!