Many summers Villarreal has eased into their preseason planning with friendlies against Segunda or Segunda B clubs, played a match or two in England, and maybe one against Levante or Valencia. This year was supposed to be different—a trip to Austria and Hungary, matches against better-quality Ligue 1 clubs (Lyon and Marseille), a trip to Leicester City, and getting ready for the Supercup match against Chelsea.
Unfortunately, after the second of these matches (Lyon) several of our players and apparently technical staff as well tested positive for COVID. And some of those that didn’t had enough reaction to their vaccine shot that between players under the weather, sick, and quarantining, Villarreal had to call off the European part of the trip and arrange a match against Levante. That one is happening behind closed doors this Thursday. (However, Unai Emery still hasn’t been able to run a regular practice with the entire team participating so far).
The matches in Marseille (July 31) and Leicester (August 4) are still on for now.
As for the Supercup against Chelsea on August 11, Villarreal are frustrated with the lack of information from UEFA. The club has asked if the fixture could be moved or postponed—no response.
How many fans can attend from Spain, if any at all? No idea.
The UK is apparently going to remove the quarantine requirement for travelers from Spain, but only if they are completely vaccinated, and Spain has prioritized the elderly in its vaccine distribution, so many young Villarreal fans haven’t been able to be vaccinated yet. It’s looking more and more like Chelsea fans may be able to attend in some numbers, but Villarreal fans, not so much.
And when the La Liga season does begin, unless things change quickly, the Valencian Community has announced restrictions on the number of people attending sporting events, so the Ceramica will only have a few thousand spectators when we take on Grenada on August 16. We are not yet back to normal—whatever that will look like. Endavant.