Jose Manuel Llaneza He is vice-president of Villarreal, the rival of Barça today in the League. He came to the club in 1994, more than a quarter of a century ago, exercising different functions. The one that had him busiest was that of CEO. One of the leaders with the most history to tell, although he will never write a book. Hand in hand with the Roig family, he has taken the ‘yellow submarine’ to the port of the European elite. And from there he does not intend to move. Talking with him is a delight
How do you see yourself as a vice president?
With less direct responsibility and with more indirect responsibility. I suffer the same, I live the same, I travel with the team in games, they ask me for opinions on many things, in some they listen to me and in others they don’t … At least they listen to me
Do you miss day-to-day management?
Now, the only advantage is that if I don’t want to come, I don’t come, I mean if I don’t have something specific to do, I don’t come. Sometimes, if we have lost, I go two days without leaving the house. If it falls on the weekend, I don’t go out until Monday. I’m just as pissed off. The tension remains the same.
Do defeats affect you so much?
What affects me is when we have to play well and we play poorly. That’s what affects me. The defeats are there, you don’t like them but if the team played well, it affects me much less.
Do you feel a history of Spanish football for everything you have done?
The first fucking means that one is very old (laughs) What I feel is a person who has worked for and for Villarreal and, in turn, for and for Spanish football
How would you define these 27 years?
I entered with a field where two thousand scarce people came and it was made a mess and now, after the last reform, we will have one of the most beautiful fields in Spain. We have a Sports City with ten soccer fields, we have another Sports City with five more fields, International in almost all categories. When they have not brought Villarreal players, they have lost. In the U21, I don’t understand why they didn’t take Fer Niño (Mallorca) or Baena (Girona)
Is Villarreal a self-made club due to the brutal growth it has had?
This is due to the Roig family, both father and son, who have left time, money and health. Sure it’s self-made. In the 2008 crisis we had some subsidies from the Generalitat. Like the rest of the teams, and we renounce all
Because we thought that people were having a bad time and football should not be a hole for people to have a worse time. If that money was used in a good way or in a bad way, that question remains. The president flatly refused to receive them. We were the first to help unemployed members with discounts. There are things the club has done and continues to do
Is that valued to them?
Not too much. You talk about Barça and sometimes you put a little box on us. In Madrid, exactly the same. Right now they are giving the prizes of the whole year … and Villarreal has been champion of Europe and nobody says anything.
In the MD gala of 2008, precisely, we gave them an award
Yes, it is true to the best president. I remember
What do the Roigs mean to you?
They are my friends, my bosses. A total change in my life when they entered the club.
The culmination of everything, was it the achievement of the Europa League?
Until now, yes, but I hope that something else will ‘wet’ in the future.
Is your life at Villarreal enough to write a book?
I am not going to write any books. Sure. Because one writes a book, says ‘my’ truth and can put many people in a position. And if the truth is not going to be told, it is better not to write it down.
Any secret that can be told?
No, because then it wouldn’t be a secret. Nor have there been that many. I was part of the delegated commission of the federation with Gaspart, Mendoza, Gil, Calvo and achieved a lot of experience, television rights. I helped make the club viable.
His best signing
Marcos Senna. because Bruno was already in the house.
Then there have been important signings. Riquelme, it was bought as it was bought and it was sold as it was sold
The most complicated and the most mediatic. I have not seen so many journalists in my life. We had to get people off the plane first when we got there. And then we go down. There was a hell of a mess. During the time we were negotiating the signing in Punta del Este, we couldn’t go out on the street. He had just won the World Cup against Madrid in Japan and had scored two goals. One day we tried to go to eat at a restaurant and it was impossible Impossible, we ended up at the representative’s house and we moved on
The hardest moment?
This last descent was very hard. Not being in the relegation zone all year and being the last. In the last game, in the last play, with many things that happened around, Tamudo’s goal in Vallecas was clearly offside … The fault, in any case, was ours.
Is the Ciudad Deportiva one of your great prides?
He was one of the great pride of Fernando Roig, who was the one who pushed her. We have come to play with eight players from the quarry