Villarreal have confirmed that coach Javi Calleja has been sacked with the side just three points clear of La Liga’s relegation places. The 40-year-old took charge from the axed Fran Escriba in September 2017 and guided the Yellow Submarine to fifth spot and a place in the Europa League, but they have struggled to hit the same heights so far this season.
Villarreal have won just one game since September under Calleja and are struggling to reach the knockout stage of the Europa League, with Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat against Celta Vigo the final straw. “Villarreal has decided to rescind Javi Calleja’s contract as first team coach. The club would like to thank the coach for his work, dedication and professionalism since taking over last season,” read a club statement.
Calleja, who also spent seven years with Villarreal as a player, added: “We started the season badly, the players began to doubt themselves and what we were trying and when you get stuck in that rut, you must stay cool-minded but it is difficult. “I only want to tell the club that I love them all and will always carry Villarreal in my heart, we are all hurt by how this has ended but I understand the decision. “Leaving my post does not free me but it kills me, I’m from Villarreal and wanted to be there until the end.”