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Blast from the Past: Mariano Barbosa rejoins Villarreal; Juan Carlos departs

The keeper who pitched a shutout in maybe our most famous match ever returns, the keeper whose fire spurred us to promotion departs

David Ramos/Getty Images

Mariano Barbosa, originally signed by Villarreal ten years ago, has rejoined the club today.  Barbosa joined the Submarine in 2005 for a €2m fee, and was backup to Sebastian Viera for three years; then, he went back to Argentina for a few years before joining Las Palmas in 2010, where he remained for four seasons.

Sevilla signed him last year to a two-year deal, but injury and the emergence of Sergio Rico meant he only played in two matches.

He's signed a two-year contract; expect him to be the second choice behind Alphonse Areola this season while Sergio ASenjo recovers, and once Areola goes back to PSG, he can step into the backup role behind Asenjo.  Barbosa is still only 30 years old.

And, as expected, Juan Carlos has rescinded his contract so is now free to find employment elsewhere; Zaragoza and Albacete are both said to be interested.  JC came through Villarreal's youth ranks, and was the keeper for the B team in their promotion season (2007-08).  He was loaned to Elche for one season, you'll recall, but otherwise was with the first team from 2010 on, though he featured mostly in Copa matches.

Last season he played in 11 matches (4 in Europa League, 2 in Copa, 5 in La Liga).  Only 6'0" (and I think that might be generous), he combined excellent ability to save penalties and fire and passion on the pitch with sometimes--a tendency to wander out of his goal at strange times, though it usually worked out OK in the end.

He will always be fondly remembered in Villarreal for his contribution to our 2012-13 promotion campaign, when he started 32 matches and was a key performer down the stretch.  Anyone who followed Villarreal in that season will remember his fiery fist-pumps to the Villarreal faithful after key wins down the stretch, and he certainly enjoyed the promotion celebrations!

But after that season, when he wasn't given a chance to be first choice at the Primera level, it was always clear that at some point he would move on.  Now it's happened.  Farewell, sir, and we hope to see you around Villarreal again sometime.