After a brillant domestic stage during the season 2004-05, the "Yellow Submarine" team finished third behind the inevitable Barcelona & Madrid and by the way won their ticket for the Champions League Third qualifying round. After a quiet 2005 summer (the main transfer was in one hand the come back of Sebastian Battaglia to Boca Juniors and in the other hand the arrival of Alessio Tacchinardi from Juventus Turin), Villarreal was ready for their Champions League Third qualifying round versus a tough opponent Everton. With two success 2-1 in each game, the "Yellow Submarine" went to the groupe stage with Manchester United, Benfica and Lille. Villarreal finished first of their group and can carried on their excellent form in Europe and they reached to the 1/8 finals. In this First knockout round, Villarreal faces the Glasgow Rangers. After an heroic 2-2 at Ibrox Park, Villareal qualified after a 1-1 in the second leg. In quarter finals an other tough opponent waited for the Riquelme's teammates with the Inter of Milan. After à 1-2 loss in Italy, Villareal won the second leg 1-0. A goal of Rodolfo Arruabarrena on a Riquelme's pass, like when they played together at Boca Juniors severals years before. In the semi-finals, Villareal faces Arsenal. After a short loss 1-0 at Highbury, the spanish team conserved all their chances for reached the final in Paris. And at he last minute of the game and with a nil-nil score, Juan Roman RIQUELME have a splendid opportunity to take the two teams in extra time with a penalty. But Jens LEHMAN didn't agree and stop the feeble shot of the argentinan player. How disappointing it was for Riquelme who made two terrific season with Villarreal and just before the german world cup where he was not at his best level. This penalty was in some way the end of his european career but one year later he bounced at home and won the Copa Libertadores with Boca Juniors but this is an other story...(have a look on the topic : Riquelme's missile in the Copa Libertadores final)


The Yellow Submarine of Villarreal in 2005/06, a very strong team (click on the picture for a better view) :

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