Raul Albiol has been a lynchpin for Villarreal ever since he arrived at Villarreal in 2019, but very few would have imagined he would be captaining them in a Champions League semi-final.
At the age of 33, some had questioned how much impact he would have at the club, but the veteran has gone from strength to strength. Partnering Pau Torres in the centre of defence, the two have been a major part of the reason Villarreal have been so successful in Europe.
🇪🇸 Raúl Albiol se convierte en el jugador español de mayor edad en disputar una semifinal de la Champions (36 años y 235 días).
🔝 El central del @VillarrealCF supera a Xavi Hernández en las semifinales de 2015 contra el Bayern de Múnich (35 y 107).
— Diario AS (@diarioas) April 27, 2022
As of this semi-final, there is no Spanish player in the history of the Champions League semi-finals that Pau Torres could call if he wants pure experience. Albiol is now the oldest Spaniard to play at this stage of the competition, as reported by Diario AS.
The rugged centre-back surpasses a current manager in La Liga, taking the record from Barcelona’s Xavi Hernandez. The Catalan played against Bayern Munich at 35 years old and 107 days. Albiol has surpassed him at the age of 36 years old and 235 days.
If Albiol can emulate Xavi, Villarreal will have their second major trophy in as many years.
Source by Football Espana