The only precedent was resolved in favor of Real Madrid, the 1998-1999 season, the first for the groguet team in the elite
Since then, the Castellón team has 22 seasons in the First Division, one Europa League and two Intertoto Cups.
Real Madrid will have a very tough round of 16 tie for the Copa del Rey against a Villarreal team that in the 21st century has become one of the greats of the League. whites and groguets They have only seen each other in the KO tournament in their entire history, in the round of 16 of the 1998-1999 season. Then, the madridistas prevailed by a double 2-0, with four goals from Fernando Morientes, but things have changed a lot since then, especially with regard to the team from Castellón.
That season was Villarreal’s first in the elite. Never before had the groguet team played in the highest category of Spanish football. And there he settled hand in hand with Jose Antonio Iruleguiwith footballers like Craioveanu, Albiol, Palop, Lainez, Téllez, the current Real Sociedad coach, Imanol Alguacil, or ex-Blaugrana like Robert Fernández and Thomas Christensen.
The campaign was complicated for the groguets, who returned to the Second Division. In between, they settled that Cup tie against Real Madrid in Guus Hiddinkin which footballers such as Ilgner, Casillas, Raúl, Savio, Suker, Roberto Carlos, Karembeu, Fernando Hierro or Karanka were active.
This Villarreal has little to do with that team that was beginning to show its nose in the elite. The Castellón group already adds 22 seasons in the highest category and has lifted three international titles: two Intertoto Cups and the recent Europa League. Thus, Real Madrid will have a much more demanding exam than the one they had to take 24 years ago.
It is only necessary to review the difficulties that the white team has had in their last visits to the La Cerámica stadium, where they have not won since February 26, 2017, when they lifted two goals from Manu Trigueros and Bakambu with three goals from Bale, Cristiano, penalty and Morata. Since then, five consecutive draws.
Villarreal faces this tie still consolidating the ‘Quique Setién era’, who assumed the groguet bench after the unexpected departure of Unai Emery to Aston Villa. As surprising as the recent departure of its starting goalkeeper, Gerónimo Rulli, to Ajax.
Real Madrid has a thorn stuck in this tournament, which they have not won since the 2013-1014 season.