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Heroic Villarreal architect Jose Manuel Llaneza dies aged 74

Llaneza was - and will remain - a hero at Villarreal

Villarreal CF UEFA Europa League Final Victory Parade
Llaneza celebrating the Europa League triumph
Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

We are saddened to learn of the death of José Manuel Llaneza, right-hand man of Fernando Roig, and architect of the huge success that Villarreal has achieved in the last 30 years.

Llaneza arrived at Villarreal and the board of directors in 1993, which would open the path for the arrival of Fernando Roig in 1997. Together, they created the groundwork for the club to get from Segunda to an European title and the team being known all around the globe.

Born in 1948 in the town of Puzol, Llaneza was an avid football fan, and that’s what took him to Villarreal during the mandate of the historical president Pascual Font de Mora.

His work from behind the scenes was instrumental in convincing Fernando Roig to fulfill his dream of having a huge football club at the top level.

Since 1997, both formed a dynamic duo that saw Villarreal not only debutting at the top flight, but building two sporting complexes: Ciudad Deportiva Miralcamp, later renamed Ciudad Deportiva Villarreal C.F, and the Ciudad Deportiva Pamesa Cerámica, leased to farm-team C.D. Roda.

They also expand on the idea of having not only a good cantera, but also on having a solid women’s football section. After all this years, we can safely say they delivered, more than most people were expecting. And while Roig is the one getting all the prais in general, without Llaneza, he wouldn’t have done all this. Llaneza has been the oil for the machine to work.

He leaves this world at the age of 74, almost a month after the death of his beloved wife. But his work, his legacy, remains here in the club, in the sporting facilities he helped develop and build.

Moltes gràcies, D. José Manuel Llaneza. Many thanks, D. Jose Manuel Llaneza.