Recognising a historic double. Villarreal paid tribute to last season's U19 (Juvenil A) side, who won their league and the U19 Copa del Rey. The ceremony took place in the function room in the Preferencia stand at the Estadio de la Cerámica, in a ceremony led by Yellows president Fernando Roig.
He thanked the young footballers for their hard work and gave them each a commemorative detail as a way of underlining the club's appreciation. Furthermore, in the event, an emotional video showing the U19s' success was shown, before a family photo was taken at the end.
During the ceremony, it was not only the president who spoke, but U19s manager Miguel Ángel Tena and captain Dani Pereiro, too.
The Yellows president took to the stage first, congratulating the coaching staff and the players for winning the Copa del Rey and the league last season: "It was a great season. It's a triumph for everyone and that underlines the club's backing for the academy. This year, the boys are continuing their formation with Villarreal C and Villarreal B. We want them to reach the first team. At the moment, 11 of the 24 players who make up the squad have come through the academy. That's the club's philosophy."
After the president spoke, Tena followed him, thanking the board for their support. Furthermore, the manager wanted to thank the fellow members of his coaching staff before finishing by congratulating the footballers themselves: "I've learned a lot from my colleagues on the coaching staff. I'm very proud to share this success with all of you. Finally, I would like to congratulate my players. They're a great generation of footballers. We've been really tight knit and we've made history at this level of youth football."
Finally, Pereiro, captain of the U19s last season, underlined his pride to be able to represent this group of champions: "The team was really united. We were a family and we showed that throughout the year. We planted the idea of winning the league, and with hard work and effort we managed to win the Copa del Rey and end up the season as the best U19 side in Spain. We want to thank the club and underline that being here today is something that we're all really proud of."
HISTORIC DOUBLE. The U19s won a historic double after winning Group 7 of the División de Honor and also lifting the Copa del Rey for the first time. Furthermore, it is worth pointing out that it was only the 'lottery' of penalties that denied them the Copa de Campeones, which they lost to Real Zaragoza.
EIGHT LEAGUE TITLES. Villarreal CF have now won Group 7 of the División de Honor eight times, more than any other club, followed by Valencia, who have won four.
A LONG AND DEMANDING SEASON. The U19s were the only side that played every possible match last season, losing just four of their 40 games.
SECOND DOUBLE. The double achieved by the U19s in 2018/19 is the second won by Villarreal CF in all their history, after winning the league and the Copa de Campeones in the 2014/15 season, under current first-team boss Javi Calleja.
FIRST COPA DEL REY TITLE. The U19s won the Copa del Rey for the first team in the history. Since the start of the competition in 1951, only one Valencian team had done that. It was Valencia in 1961, so it was the first time in 58 years that an U19 side from the Comunidad Valenciana lifted the prestigious trophy.
LEAGUE STATS. The U19s put in a spectacular season, getting 68 points from 30 league games (21 wins, five draws and four defeats). The title was not decided until the final game however, as Levante also put in a great season, ending it in style with 13 wins. The Yellows were the league top scorers, scoring 81 goals, and also conceded the second fewest goals (23). Juan Carlos Arana scored 18, Fernando Niño got 15 and Diego Collado got 13.
RUNNERS-UP IN THE COPA DE CAMPEONES AND DALLAS CUP. As well as the league and Copa del Rey title, the U19s nearly lifted the Copa de Campeones and the prestigious Dallas Cup too. In both finals, they fell on penalties, to Real Zaragoza and Tigres respectively.