We had posted about this before, but today Villarreal made official the departure of Jaume Costa. In case you’re wondering if he deserves the “Battling” nickname, consider that he is Villarreal’s all-time yellow-card leader, with 103, plus 6 reds (only one of those a direct red).
But while we joke about his yellow cards, there was far more to his game than that. Jaume was one of those players who you need around—-he wasn’t the most talented, he was never a player who had transfer rumors swirling around him, he just was a player whom you could slot into the starting lineup and know what you’d get. A squad player par excellence.
Jaume played 268 matches for Villarreal, 23 of those as a captain. He played a half-dozen as those during our relegation season, after being promoted from our B team; Julio Velasquez, taking over the first team in the Segunda the following season, played him in left midfield as well as at left back.
Marcelino instaleld him as the regular left back against Las Palmas in February 2013 and from that point, Jaume shined. He missed only three matches (one for yellow-card accumulation) and had two assists. His passion for the club was evident as we celebrated promotion.
He scored his first goal for the first team in May 2014, a tap-in in a 4-0 win over Rayo. Apart from the 2015-16 season, he was remarkably injury-free and was always willing to charge forward to support the attack, or take on an opponent to disrupt a quick break....whatever it took. Jaume spent 2019-20 with Valencia on loan, which didn’t seem right, but at least gave him an opportunity to appear in the Champions League with them.
Jaume was part of our Europa League winning club this past season, of course, starting four of our five group matches, starting in the second leg against Salzburg, and coming on as a sub against Dynamo Kyiv. But with our large number of left backs, Jaume didn’t see much league action, playing more than 45 minutes in a match only twice, both times as a fill-in right back.
Here’s hoping that Jaume returns to the club in some capacity once his playing days are done. Farewell, Jaume Costa, and thank you for the memories!