The Villarreal CF Academy draw the curtain on a hugely successful 2017. However, while the trophies and positive results are worthy rewards for the young Yellows’ hard work, the real success for Villarreal is continuing to develop great young people on and off the pitch. The main objective of the Villarreal CF Academy is to develop young players to achieve their potential as footballers and be people with good moral values in their everyday lives. The club believes both of these aspects to be of equal importance and that good results are a by-product of this success.
Throughout the course of 2017, up to four Academy teams won their respective league competitions (U19 A, U19 C, U14 A and U12 C). And that’s just the start of the long list of achievements of our young Yellows.
European Champions and World Cup Runners-up
Nacho Díaz and Carlos Beitia achieved one of the biggest successes of the year for the Villarreal Academy in May. The two U19 prodigies played in the final of the U17 European Championships against England in Croatia and Nacho Díaz scored the decisive equaliser in the final to make it 2-2. The young Spaniards then went on to beat the Englishmen on penalties and become champions of Europe.
In October, both Villarreal players, along with U19 goalkeeper Marc Vidal, got to an even bigger final with Spain U17. They went to India to play in the U17 World Cup and came away with silver medals this time. After a spectacular tournament, the Spaniards finished as runners-up against England again, who ran away with the game this time winning 5-2 in a goalfest of a final. It was so nearly a historic double for Spain U17.
Triumph for the U19
Javi Calleja, current Villarreal First Team Manager, led the Villarreal U19 to their third consecutive league title in Group VII of the ‘División de Honor’ and got to the semi-finals of both the main cup competitions: the Copa del Rey and the Copa de Campeones. The Yellows also won the prestigious MIC tournament in Girona after an exciting final against FC Barcelona that had to be decided by a penalty shootout.
LaLiga Promises Runners-up
It should also be highlighted that the U12 A team finished in second place in the PAMESA LaLiga Promises national tournament, celebrated in Vila-real for the third consecutive season. In the international version of the tournament, the U12 A team fell in the semi-finals in New Jersey.
The unbeatable U14
The Villarreal U14 A team were one of the most successful sides in 2017. The exceptionally talented youngsters won their league without losing a game and winning all of their home matches at the Villarreal CF Training Ground (Ciudad Deportiva). The Yellows, who only drew two matches on the road against Kelme and Torre Levante, netted an impressive 173 goals and only conceded 17.
The unstoppable Reserves
The Villarreal B team have had a spectacular start to the 2017/18 season that they hope to continue in 2018. The Yellows Reserves currently have 36 points and have only lost one match and remain unbeaten at their home ground the ‘Mini Estadi’.
Despite undergoing a change of Manager just a few weeks into the season, as Miguel Álvarez replaced Javi Calleja who was promoted to lead the First Team, and not being able to count on some of their most important players who had been called up to the First Team, the Mini Submarine still managed to put in a fantastic first half of the season performance which included a flawless run in the Group stage of the Premier League International Cup, beating all three rivals, Benfica, West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur, to progress to the Quarter-finals.
Currently, the club has a total of 46 teams and more than 600 players in the Villarreal Academy, 100 of which live in the players’ Residence at the Villarreal CF Training Ground (Ciudad Deportiva).