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Thursday, December 08, 2022

Villarreal CF Official Website – Stories of Jose Manuel Llanza Sports City

Former Vice President acted in many anecdotes with country players at Miralcamp

The work of José Manuel Lelaneza (1948–2022) at the Grogueta Quarry is well known to Villarreal CF fans and throughout the football world. And it is that who was the vice president and was associated with Villarreal for almost 30 years, he stood not only on the level of sports, but also on the human level.

After his death, it has been possible to attest to his human quality thanks to all the myriad messages of affection from around the football world, among which have been expressed gratitude from yellow youth squads such as Pau Torres, Baena, Yeremi, Morlens. Fer Nino or Arana, among many others.

As explained by Ernesto Almodovar, one of the Grogue Football 8 coordinators, “I knew all the kids, but not only football-wise, but also personally, on a human level.” And the thing is, Llanza found out he went to a game when he didn’t know a new guy in Yellow Base football. “He used to ask what club he came from, where he was from, what his parents did … and if his parents were in the stands he would introduce himself and chat with them,” says Almodovar. Huh.

For his part, Pablo Canada, director of grassroots football for Villarreal CF, admitted that “he taught us all to demand from ourselves, not make excuses. If the game was windy or the pitch was bad, it was a matter of both teams.” Furthermore, Canada insisted that Llanza always knew what he was talking about “because he didn’t have to tell anyone what was happening in Ciudad Deportiva, as he had done it before.” had experienced.”

One of the best anecdotes that the director of grassroots football remembers about the portrait of José Manuel, as its protagonist is the now-submarine cadet Manu Portela, a native of Galicia. Manu was a young man at that time and reached the Miralcamp residence, where he was the youngest of his fellow children, cadets and youth. One fine day, Llaneza asked him: “You’re a Galician, aren’t you?” The boy answered yes and Jose Manuel told him: “In two weeks we will play in Vigo. You come to watch the match on the team plane.”

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Villarreal Women’s Chief Defender

Llaneza was one of the first to lead the unit that believed in the development of Villarreal women. This is how one of the coordinators, Patri Travor, explains it: “She was one of the people who started reforming the composition of women. It gave us all the tools to grow and it eventually led to promotion to the First Division.” Granted. We will always be grateful to him because he is a man who put something between his eyebrows, he got it. He was the maker of this change, that it is easy to support him now, but who believed from the beginning, That was them.

Trevor also mentions the need in support of the vice president: “He always gave you, but at the same time he demanded of you. Whenever he saw us, he knew how we ended up.” In this context, the Villarreal women’s coordinator recalled a curious anecdote with Llanza: “When we were promoted, a celebration was held at La Ceramica and a small breakfast was set up on the pitch. When they arrived, they congratulated us on the promotion, but they also made us a little angry because a week ago we asked to play in the Mini Estadi as a reward for the promotion and already relaxed to achieve the goal, We lost 1-4″. “Thanks to this character, the club has developed what it is”.

Forerunner of the Endavant Project

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In addition to being talented in sports, Llaneza knew that the structure of a club included something else and was always ready to support his community as part of social responsibility.

Villarreal assisted the provincial sports, but they were not part of any projects until the birth of Andavant, with Andavant Esports as the first stone. Paloma Masso, currently responsible for the Andavant project, assured that “her participation was a guarantee of success as she was involved in each project”. “We visited the province strengthening ties with representatives of each locality. Just knowing that José Manuel Lelaneza was coming, each city council was happy for us to open their doors and listen to our project”, recalls Masso.

The vice president knew that the training of the youth squad was essential to transmitting the club’s values ​​and did not hesitate to support another branch of the project: “When the Department of Methodology and Psychology presented us with the Andavent Igualtat project, He had no hesitation in supporting it and wanted to start it as soon as possible because for him it was the ideal way to train not only the players but also the people of our youth academy and he wanted to know in advance which teams How are each center related”, says the unit’s employee.

And it is that the good Jose Manuel was always at the bottom of the valley, looking at every detail in the first person: “We can say that he was the forerunner of the Endvent project and that Villarreal and its Foundation continue these works to this day. Thanks to the fact that the club’s own vice president believed in the project and followed it from the beginning to the end of each season”, says Masso.

Your legacy is eternal, Jose Manuel!

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