UEFA Champions League 2021/22 season kicked off in a vibrant mode with football fans witnessing the top European clubs locking horns with each other.
The interesting part of this year’s UEFA Champions League 2021/22 is that there are five Spanish clubs participating in this season. Yes, you heard it right. La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Sevilla FC and Villarreal FC are the five teams from Spain to feature in the 2021/22 UCL.
The surprising appearance is of Unai Emery’s Villarreal FC, who finished at the seventh position on the 2020/21 La Liga standings with 58 points.
Why is Villarreal FC playing in UEFA Champions League 2021/22 season?
The top four sides in La Liga qualify for the next season of Champions League group stages and the teams ending with the fifth and sixth position are eligible to play in the UEFA Europa League.
However, Villarreal FC was set to play in UEFA’s third-tier competition- UEFA Conference League- as per its standing in the previous season. But according to a rule of UEFA, the Champions League and Europa League winners get an automatic place in the following season’s Champions League group stages.
And since Villarreal FC stunned Premier League club Manchester United after beating them 11-10 on penalties in the Europa League final in Poland in May, the Yellow Submarine made their way to the UEFA Champions League this year.
Villarreal FC were held 2-2 by Serie A club Atalanta as Germany’s Robin Gosens equalised for the latter in the 83rd minute of the game. Manu Trigueros and Arnaut Danjuma added to Villarreal’s tally in their opening fixture of UCL 2021/22 in Spain.
Apart from Atlanta, the Spaniards are paired with Manchester United and Young Boys, a football club from Switzerland. Young Boys are currently leading the Group F points table as they edged out the Red Devils 2-1 in Bern, Switzerland.
Villarreal will face Manchester United at Old Trafford on September 30 on the Matchday 2 of the group stage.