Villarreal are based in Vila-real, a town of 51,000 inhabitants in the province of Castellon, and played in the regional and lower Leagues of Spanish football after being founded in 1923 by a board of directors ‘in order to promote all sports and specifically football’.
In the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, the club spent several decades in La Tercera before reaching the second tier in the early 1970s, yet after a brief two-year stay returned there until the 1992-93 season. Promotion to La Primera was eventually achieved in 1998 and whilst relegation followed 12 months later, Villarreal bounced back immediately under Paquito Garcia Gomez following a third place finish.
Although relative newcomers to the big stage, Villarreal enjoyed subsequent success in both European and domestic football, reaching the last four of the UEFA Cup in 2004 and going on to the Champions League semi-finals in 2006, where they were knocked out by Arsenal.
In 2008 the Yellow Submarine finished as Primera Division runners-up under their most successful Coach, Manuel Pellegrini, and the following year again lost out to Arsenal in the Champions League, this time in the quarter-finals.