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Joan Capdevila, Villarreal’s World Cup Winner, Retires

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He turned 39 in February.

Netherlands v Spain: 2010 FIFA World Cup Final Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Joan Capdevila, Villarreal player from 2007 to 2011 and a starter in Spain’s winning World Cup side in 2010, has hung up his boots. He had said he wanted to help Andorran club Santa Coloma get through the Champions League preliminary round, but that didn’t happen. Capdevila played all 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw (1-2 aggregate) with Alashkert that bounced the colomencs from the next round.

Capdevila came up in Espanyol’s youth system and played for both Espanyol and Atletico Madrid before moving to Deportivo La Coruña at age 22; he remained here seven years before Villarreal obtained him on a free transfer in 2007. Not money well spent, then, but a shrewd signing, for Joan immediately became a regular on our sub-champions team of 2007-08.

Capdevila was a member of the Spanish national team for both their Euro 2008 win and of course the World Cup in 2010; he was the only starter in the final for Spain who wasn’t Barcelona or Real Madrid property (something Joan was very self-deprecating about, commenting that “he wasn’t good enough.”). But of course he will be remembered by many of us as the guy who partied with what looked like a garbage can on his head during La Roja’s victory celebrations, right?

Truth to tell, Capdevila was maybe done in by the demands of regular starts for international and club. At any rate, in the 2010-2011 season, he found himself rested frequently, then-coach Garrido preferring José Catalá. Villarreal allowed Capdevila to leave as he had come, on a free transfer, joining Benfica in July 2011. His last match in yellow, of all things, was a friendly loss to a team of Irish Students, our first friendly of the summer (which proved a harbinger of things to come).

Capdevila’s years after 2011, apart from a 2011-12 season back ‘home’ in Espanyol, were nothing much. He went to India and Belgium briefly, but injuries reduced his playing time. He joined Andorran side FC Santa Coloma last July.

Villarreal USA wish you and family all the best; you made all groguets proud!