What Villarreal’s eyes on price broke the Champions League Code

A good way to understand that it is Villarreal – a team of athletes from a city of only 50,000 souls, playing in a stadium that can hold less than half of them – see his in the semifinals of the Champions League is considered to be the cleanest aisle of Spain’s largest market.

The big house, Mercadona, and the soccer are all relatives. Fernando Roig, Villarreal president and venture capitalist, has little impact on Mercadona, Spain’s largest retailer, but it is his brother, Juan, the majority dealer. , which has benefited from turning the end of the curriculum into a key curriculum for business schools around the world. .

The basis for that approach is the idea that the end user is the guardian. They are, after all, who decide what their store should keep. In order for the company to meet their needs, Mercadona, at all times, invites the choice of its most trusted customers to participate in the laboratory.

These are available at 10 stores around Spain, and each is dedicated to a specific industry: animal husbandry, for example, snacks or personal care. Consumers are asked not only to provide feedback on a variety of products – packaging, price, taste, flavor – but also to tell Mercadona staff how they use them.

That is how Mercadona has found that while many people are buying white wine vinegar as a food, they are also using it as a remedy. “So they made cleaning products made from vinegar,” Miguel Blanco, a business economist at King Juan Carlos University, once told a business book by the Wharton School of Medicine. University of Pennsylvania. Mercadona, like Villarreal, understands that the appeal of a product depends on how it is used.

Villarreal did not, at first glance, follow the plan set by the minority teams from outside the special cabal of the wealthy organizations that broke the Champions League semifinals in last year.

Monaco in 2017 and Ajax in 2019 feel a bit like seeing in future football. It was in Monaco running past Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund that Kylian Mbappé, Bernardo Silva and Fabinho first pierced sporting generosity. Ajax’s defeat of Real Madrid and Juventus on their way to the semifinals two years later helped turn Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt to the stars.

RB Leipzig, who made it to the final four in a bizarre tournament, the tournament spread everywhere in 2020, like a team by the cutting edge, too. It showcases the likes of Dayot Upamecano and Christopher Nkunku, and was led by Julian Nagelsmann, the model-manager for the first generation coaching after Pep Guardiola.

Villarreal, on the other hand, does not feel like a vision of what is to come. The core of the Unai Emery team is the home team, with the rise of Gerard Moreno, Yeremi Pino, Alfonso Pedraza and, in particular, Pau Torres testifying to the club’s outstanding performance. .

Apart from Pino, 19, however, no one, especially the young, was not a footballer. Although Torres, the club’s local diamond’s, is 25, that means it does not seem to support taking the frenzy of changing the apex predators that de Ligt created in 2019.

Instead, around graduates, Villarreal gave the idea of ​​doing something at the Premier League vintage store, his team kept up with the uncertain faces of the football fans. English. There’s Vicente Iborra, the 34-year-old midfielder who has struggled to make an impact at Leicester City, and Pervis Etupiñán, the young Ecuadorean left-back who eats around Watford loan wells. temporarily.

Étienne Capoue, 33, spent six years at Vicarage Road, establishing himself as a rarity in the Watford team defined by permanent change. Alberto Moreno was released on a free transfer from Liverpool. Francis Coquelin first appeared at Arsenal. Dani Parejo wrote a short note on the Queens Park Rangers. Arnaut Danjuma was flickered and sputtered at Bournemouth.

And then there was Tottenham contingent: Juan Foyth, the missing defender; Serge Aurier, like this; and Giovani Lo Celso, the most valuable athlete who found himself out in the cold when Antonio Conte arrived as manager of Spurs last year.

Even Emery, of course, returned to Spain after being offered a dangerous job to replace Arsène Wenger at Arsenal. His team from Villarreal, who eliminated Bayern Munich in the last quarter, one that blocked Liverpool’s path to a third Champions League final in five years, were created by Premier League waifs and strays.

People familiar with Villarreal’s theory say it is not a deliberate act. Miguel Ángel Tena, the club’s sporting director, and Fernando Roig Negueroles, his manager – and son of the president – are not ready to come out to be affected by the waste from the Premier League. , use of waste materials.

There, in turn, has a higher level of risk. When, halfway through last season, Emery needed a bodybuilding, working midfield, he recalled that Capoue enjoyed it when he was in England. Capoue, who has admitted he does not watch football, does not even know where Villarreal was when the request came; he just touched Emery’s faith in her.

Danjuma is another signing confirmed by the manager: Villarreal analysts never looked at him when Emery commented, after Villarreal won the Europa League last season, the team will have to pay $ 20 million or more for the player who was recently suspended with Bournemouth. . However, the club did pay the price. Villarreal now believes Danjuma, his rising star, could one day receive $ 100 million.

Others have benefited from the club’s eidetic memory. Villarreal have maintained long-term connections in South America in general and in Argentina in particular: When he finally reached the Champions League semifinal, in 2006, he was with a team that was retained with the Boca Juniors alumni. His research network selected Foyth and Lo Celso long ago.

Villarreal could not compete with the likes of England – or Paris St.-Germain, in the Lo Celso case – when they first arrived in Europe, but the club are well aware that football wins always take a second chance, especially to get that much faster. English clubs, in particular, discard players.

It was the vision that allowed Emery to not only send out the first key player in Villarreal history – last year Europa League – but to break the team into the 180th minute of the game. The biggest thing about them all: knowing what products can be available. other purposes, the role is more important, than specified on the packaging.

And it’s the way that, while it would not make Villarreal as tricky or happy as Monaco or Ajax, it might make his story seem a little more, a little more inspiring in the age of both superclubs and rising funds. strength of the Premier League.

Monaco success has created, for the most part, blind to the skills of its manager, Luis Campos. Ajax’s are a tribute to the club’s giftedness that is unmatched for its upbringing and commitment. But both have the meaning of lightning, too: difficult – if not impossible – repeat or repeat.

Villarreal, however, provide a model that will follow, a vision for how the financially disadvantaged institutions of the Premier League or the weight of the huge Europe can be. success. It shows that it has the potential to grow strongly in the remnants of the celebration, to be successful in sports in the Anglocentric ecosystem, keep in mind that the appeal of the product depends on its use.

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