American-born Italy international striker GIUSEPPE ROSSI (22), who was secured by the Yellow Submarine from English Premier League club Manchester United in exchange for a reported transfer fee of 10.0 million Euros in the summer of 2007, paced CF Villarreal with 18 goals in La Liga last season and tallied another 11 goals in 15 UEFA Europa League matches to finish as the second-leading scorer in that competition, as well.
Spanish La Liga side CF VILLARREAL are in possession of some attacking prowess to be respected starting with Italy international striker GIUSEPPE ROSSI. The 24-year-old native of Teaneck, New Jersey, scored two of the Yellow Submarine’s goals in the decisive 3-0 victory over visiting Danish side BK Odense in the return leg of the UEFA Champions League playoff tie earlier this season. Rossi, who already has earned 26 caps and scored six goals for Italy, also dispatched a first half penalty for CF Villarreal in the 2-2 La Liga draw with FC Sevilla this past Saturday.
Brazil World Cup reserve striker NILMAR is another to be reckoned with. The 27-year-old, who has scored nine goals on 24 appearances for his country in his career, was second on the club with 11 goals in La Liga and also added seven goals in Europe last season. Nilmar starts his third campaign of Spanish football after transferring from Brazilian side SC Internacional of Porto Alegre for the fee of 10.0 million Euros in the summer of 2009.
24-year-old striker MARCO RUBEN, who netted five times in La Liga last season, recorded a goal on his international debut for Argentina this past June and also scored this over the weekend against FC Sevilla; is another option up front available to El Submarino Amarillo trainer JUAN CARLOS GARRIDO.
Nigeria international striker IKECHUKWU UCHE was signed this summer from Real Zaragoza in return for 5.0 million Euros but has since been sent out on loan for the season to newly-promoted CF Granada.
CF Villarreal midfielder Ruben Gracia Calmache, the 30-year-old former Real Zaragoza veteran better known as CANI (10) who tied for third on the club with five goals in La Liga last season, runs through the tackle of Real Zaragoza’s Uruguay international defender CARLOS DIOGO during the La Liga match last April at the Estadio El Madrigal in Vila-real.
CF Villarreal sold off playmaking Spain international SANTI CARZORLA, the little winger who scored five goals and set up 10 others last season, to Andalusian club CF Malaga for the pricey fee of 21.0 million Euros this summer.
Spain international BORJA VERLO, the one-time Real Madrid B midfielder who set a club record for newly-promoted English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion with a 7.0 million Euro transfer from Real Mallorca in the summer of 2008, is one regular from last season who returns as defensive midfielder BRUNO SORIANO, the 27-year-old who has been with CF Villarreal since his youth team days.
32-year-old CARLOS MARCHENA, who has appeared at the last two UEFA European Championships and FIFA World Cup tournaments, respectively, while winning 69 caps and scoring two goals for Spain, provides CF Villarreal a wealth of experience in midfield or on the backline.
The Yellow Submarine did add Canadian-born former Holland U-21 international JONATHAN DE GUZMAN from Real Mallorca in exchange for 8.0 milion Euros, but the 23-year-old midfielder has made just one substitute appearance for El Subamarino Amarillo thus far; another off-season acquisition in midfield is 31-year-old veteran JAVIER CAMUNAS, who was purchased from Osasuna Pamplona for a more modest 2.35 million Euros.
Finding it hard to get a game in midfield for CF Villarreal so far this season has been 35-year-old Brazilian-born Spain international and long-time club servant MARCOS SENNA while also scrambling for playing time from the trainer, as well, are 22-year-old Paraguay international HERNAN PEREZ and 21-year-old Ghana youth international WAKASO MUBARAK.
Colombia international defender CARLOS ZAPATA (12) of Spanish side CF Villarreal, who made 168 Serie A appearances in six seasons with Italian club Udinese Calcio, looks to avoid the challenge of BK Odense’s France international fullback BERNARD MENDY (22) during the UEFA Champions League second leg playoff match at the Estadio El Madrigal in the provence of Castellon on the eastern Mediterranean coast of Spain.
Spain international and CF Villarreal first choice DIEGO LOPEZ was shown the red card early in the La Liga match with FC Sevilla last Saturday, but that should have no bearing on the UEFA Champions League match with visiting Bayern Munich; the well-traveled 40-year-old Spain international CESAR SANCHEZ was signed this summer from CF Valencia as cover.
The Yellow Submarine splashed out 9.0 million Euros and signed Colombia international defender CRISTIAN ZAPATA from Italian Serie A side Udinese Calcio to bolster the backline this summer and help replace JOAN CAPDEVILA, the 33-year-old experienced international with 60 caps for Spain who has left for Portuguese giant Benfica of Lisbon.
21-year-old Argentina international center back MATEO MUSACCHIO is an emerging asset for CF Villarreal while being mentored and partnered at the back by 27-year-old compatriot GONZALO RODRIGUEZ, who has won six caps for Argentina in his career.
The left back to start this 2011-12 campaign has been 24-year-old JOAN ORIOL, a graduate of the B team who started once and made five appearances in La Liga last term. In the wake of the heavy 5-0 defeat to FC Barcelona in the La Liga opener, Spain U-21 international MARIO GASPAR made his season debut at right back against FC Sevilla last Saturday. 30-year-old veteran right back ANGEL LOPEZ, who the former Las Palmas and Celta de Vigo player has won five caps for Spain in his career, tore his ACL last January and has yet to appear since.
CF Villarreal goalkeeper DIEGO LOPEZ (13), the 29-year-old one-time Real Madrid shot-stopper who has appeared exactly once as a substitute for the national team of Spain in his career, smothers the ball at the feet of Spain international striker SERGIO GARCIA (19) of RCD Espanyol Barcelona during the La Liga match last January at the Estadi Cornella El Prat.
gk – CESAR Sanchez ————————————– fr CF Valencia
df – Cristian ZAPATA – Colombia int’l ———– fr Udinese Calcio (Ita)
df – Ivan MARCANO ————————————– fr CF Getafe
mf – Borja VALERO – Spain int’l ——————— fr West Bromwich (Eng)
mf – Javier CAMUNAS ———————————– fr CA Osasuna Pamplona
mf – CRISTOBAL Marquez —————————– fr CF Elche
mf – Jefferson MONTERO – Ecuador int’l —— fr UD Levante
mf – Jonathan DE GUZMAN – Holland ———– fr Real Mallorca
fw – Ikechukwu UCHE – Nigeria int’l ————– fr Real Zaragoza
(Valero was on loan at CF Villarreal all of last season; Marcano had been out on loan all last season, Cristobal and Montero had been out on loan since January)
gk – XAVI Oliva ——————————————— released
gk – JUAN CARLOS ————————————— to CF Elche
df – Joan CAPDEVILA – Spain int’l —————- to Benfica Lisbon (Port)
df – CICINHO – Brazil int’l —————————– to AS Roma (Ita)
df – Ivan MARCANO ————————————– to FC Olympiakos Piraeus (Gre)
mf – CRISTOBAL Marquez —————————– to FC Karpaty Lviv (Ukr)
mf – Santi CARVOLA – Spain int’l ——————- to CF Malaga
mf – Jefferson MONTERO – Ecuador int’l —— to Real Betis
mf – Javier MATILLA ————————————- to Real Betis
fw – Ikechukwu UCHE – Nigeria int’l ————– to CF Granada
fw – Jozy ALTIDORE – United States int’l ——- to AZ 67 Alkmaar (Hol)
(Cicinho had been out on loan since January to CF Villarreal from Italian Serie A side AS Roma; Marcano, Montero and Uche are all out on loan for the 2011-12 season)