Two weeks ago, we let you know about Villareal backing out of the Motherwell tribute match to Phil O’Donnell, and doing so by email. A little later that night, we passed on some more information, including the rumor that Villareal quit the match because a more lucrative game came up. Well, somewhere along the way, we decided to actually do some research on the matter, and the truth was (all to easily) uncovered.
Initially, the Motherwell-Villareal match was scheduled to take place on August 2. Yesterday, we came across this article, which mentions a Liverpool meeting with Villareal on
August July 30. Was this the vaunted “big money match up” that Villareal had craved?
Sorry for the suspense, but there has to be some reason for you folk to hit the link.
The Liverpool match is scheduled (for those of you bad at the maths) three days before the previously scheduled Motherwell match. In the pre-season, this amount of time is no reason to cancel a match. So, where to turn next?
The Teruel City Trophy. What could be more prestigious? And why would Teruel crown either of these non-local squads its champion? Our guess–it’s a city looking to make a splash.
According to Wikipedia, Teruel is a city without much of an identity. Sure, it’s a Spanish provincial capital, but it’s one without much fanfare. It’s the Spanish equivalent of Montpelier, Vermont. No one really wants to go there, and a few Spaniards think it’s a myth, like Belgium. Seriously, the city’s motto translates to “Teruel Exists”.
Apparently, the next step, after adopting that wonderful motto back in 1999, is to entice some soccer squads for a pre-season cup. This year’s version is the second. Last year featured the same two squads, with Villareal winning on penalties. There’s video here.
Yes, Villareal is likely getting a big payday from a city looking to establish an identity. Doesn’t make them any more likable, I’m afraid.
*If Google Translate led me wrong, please take it up with them