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Villarreal stalwarts hope to go back to the future

Thursday 31 January 2013 9.00 CET
Javi Venta speaks to UEFA.com

UEFA Champions League group stage contenders only last season, Villarreal CF now find themselves in the second tier of Spanish football for the first time since 2000. However, as UEFA.com discovers, nobody at El Madrigal is feeling sorry for themselves.

The resilient attitude of captain Marcos Senna and returning defender Javi Venta epitomises the spirit of a club they have served for more than ten and eight years respectively. "It's been a very difficult time," said 36-year-old midfielder Senna. "The idea was for the club to adapt as quickly as possible to the league. I believe we are moving in the right direction."

Battling against the elements is nothing new for Villarreal. The Yellow Submarine took on the heavyweights of European football to reach the semi-finals of the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League. "The fact we were participating for the first time, and reached the semi-finals, made it an unforgettable experience – we wrote history," said Senna.

Those achievements are in the past as Senna and Venta aim to pen a new chapter in the Villarreal story. "I have experienced some great moments here, so let's hope we'll only be in the second division this season," said Venta, 37. "I'm convinced that the second part of the season will be better than the first," he added, with Villarreal in eighth, one point off the play-offs.

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