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Villarreal has three Spanish U-21 players in action this week

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And Valencia CF is celebrating a big birthday today.

Girona v Villarreal - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Villarreal have three players in the Spain U-21 side that will face Romania on Thursday in Grenada and Austria on Monday in Algeciras. Regulars Pablo Fornals and Alfonso Pedraza are joined by Pau Torres, currently playing on loan with Malaga in the Segunda.

It’s the first callup for Pau, who has impressed with the boquerones this season. This is how a loan to a Segunda side is supposed to work—the player gets lots of playing time and coaching, he improves (transfermarkt has him rated at €2.5m now from €0.5m in August). Unfortunately, as we know, that’s not always what happens.

In other news, today is Valencia CF’s 100th birthday!! It’s being marked with a large parade from the Mestalla through downtown, and the mascletá (the noontime fireworks show that’s happening in front of the Town Hall as part of the Falles celebrations) featured lots of orange smoke today along with the booms and screaming rockets. You can watch the thing here—if you’ve never been to one of these, I can tell you standing there while everything around you explodes, the ground shakes, and the sky fills with smoke is truly something to be experienced.

Congratulations to Valencia CF. Until the last 20 years of their 100-year history I doubt if they thought about Villarreal CF much at all, but now we have a great rivalry...which will be renewed next month in the Europa League!!

No news as yet of Jaume Costa’s hamstring injury or for that matter if Vicente Iborra’s removal was merely precautionary, but I can confirm Funes Mori is suspended for the Celta match.