Villarreal is always cautious when it comes to talking about bigger goals. The club is a friend of gradually completing stages, fleeing from triumphalism and exaggerated statements. It is true that sometimes it can seem exaggerated, something that from the club itself is considered something minor. Villarreal is and has always been ambitious, much more so in this season, in which an older coach with great ambitions has arrived. But this calm speech and without going any further, does not seem to be in tune with what the dressing room seems to already think and the numbers say.
Thus, one of the captains and men of weight, such as Raúl Albiol, assured this Tuesday that: “the objective is to improve what has been achieved last season and that objective is the Champions League”. Recognizing the “maximum difficulty of the company”, the defender emphasizes that “we have that illusion and that ambition, we have a staff with quality and quantity to be able to think about it, and we are very motivated to fight for it until the end”.
That ambition of Albiol, is corroborated by the numbers and the feelings left by the team. The feelings are those of a very solid team, which has only lost two games in the league and has been able to solve problems such as the injuries of Iborra and Alberto Moreno. And in the numbers, the team shows identical or very similar records to those of the campaigns in which the team reached the Champions League. Villarreal has managed to classify among the top four three times, as in the 04-05, 07-08 and 10-11 campaigns.
In those seasons the team was eighth with 25 points in 04-05, but Pellegrini’s team made a spectacular second lap. In the 07-08 campaign the team was fifth with 32 points, the same as you have now. While in the 10-11 season the team was third with 36 points, this being his best historical record.
Thus, This current situation of the team invites us to think that this Champions goal is possible, so Albiol’s words take much more force. Although the key will be to see how the team faces three competitions at the highest level and with the highest aspirations.