Europa reward for touring Villarreal


Spanish La Liga side Villarreal will take on Adelaide United next month buoyed by the knowledge they have secured a place in the UEFA Europa League next season.

The Yellow Submarine clinched its spot courtesy of a 1-0 win over Elche in their La Liga clash at the Estadio El Madrigal last Sunday.

Costa Rican Joel Campbell, who is having an outstanding season while on loan from Arsenal, scored Villarreal’s winner in the 26th minute when he nodded into the goal from close range.

The result meant Marcelino Garcia Toral’s side has secured sixth place in La Liga. Villarreal are seven points clear of seventh-placed Malaga with just two rounds remaining.

With a Spanish court on Thursday suspended the threat of a mooted La Liga player strike, Villarreal’s remaining two games before they head to Australia are at home to Malaga CF on 17 May and away to eighth-placed Athletic Bilbao on 24 May.

The Spaniards play the Reds at Coopers Stadium on Friday 29 May as part of the global LFP World Challenge. The tour also includes a game against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday 3 June.

The Adelaide United players have had a week off and will resume training on Monday 18 May as they build towards the much-anticipated game against Villarreal.


Villarreal will bring a strong squad to Australia and it could include their captain Bruno Soriano, who made his comeback last weekend after nearly three months on the sidelines.

Bruno broke the fibula in his right leg during a Copa del Rey semi-final against Barcelona on 12 February.

Missing from the Villarreal squad will be goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo, who ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament a 1-0 La Liga loss to champions Atletico Madrid two weeks ago. It is the third time the 25-year-old Asenjo has injured his knee and the injury came as he was having his best-ever season for the club.

The setback was the second major injury blow for the club in a month after Villarreal’s Argentine central defender Mateo Musacchio broke his ankle against Getafe on April 12.