Villarreal coach Marcelino departs days before Champions League play-off

Eric Bailly Villarreal

Villarreal are facing a chaotic start to the season after their coach, Marcelino, and his staff left the club just days before their Champions League play-off first-leg home match against Monaco.

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Club officials did not give a reason for the coaching staff departing but said they hope to announce an interim or permanent coach “in the coming hours”.

The 50-year-old joined the club in 2013, helping win promotion to La Liga and leading Villarreal to three straight top-six finishes. They reached the Europa League semi-finals last season, losing to Liverpool, and finished fourth in the league, earning a place in the Champions League play-offs.

Villarreal play Monaco next Wednesday, with the return leg six days later – and start their league season at Granada on Saturday.

The news comes a day after the club also lost the striker Roberto Soldado for six months owing to a cruciate ligament tear. The 31-year-old’s injury means the summer signing Alexandre Pato is their only fit striker.

A club statement said: “Tests have confirmed Soldado suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear and a torn external meniscus in his right knee. He will undergo surgery in the next few days.”

Powered by article was written by Guardian sport, for The Guardian on Thursday 11th August 2016 11.27 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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