During an interview for Villarreal TV, Juan Roman Riquelme opened up about that penalty he missed against Arsenal back in 2006.
Juan Roman Riquelme became one of Villarreal’s biggest legends during the 2005-06 season but a missed penalty prevented him from glory. He recalled his time in Spain on Villarreal TV ahead of the Europa League semifinal against the Gunners: “I really wish Villarreal can get to the final. Back then, both the players and the technical staff did a great job. We’ve been lucky to have all those players who helped us. All I can say is thank you. But I never saw that penalty again, I doubt I would ever watch it.
“I will always think we had to play that final against Barça, we would’ve had a great time. It’s been 15 years, it means we did something right. It’s not normal that so much time passed and people still remember that squad. Apart from Barcelona, we made Spanish football fans root for us. Feeling that was wonderful. The team played fantastic football and people loved watching us play. We got them all excited. I’ve never seen people so excited with so much joy during that Champions League.”
Riquelme’s bad luck with penalties.
Roman also recalled his terrible fortune with penalties during that year with Villarreal and Argentina: “That day we got to the stadium with people walking alongside the team’s bus was truly beautiful. I have nothing but great feelings towards the club, the city, and you because you helped me enjoy playing football. Even though it was a complicated year with the penalties because I missed that one and I had a rough time in the World Cup with penalties as well. I wasn’t even able to shoot one there.
“I will never watch that penalty again. We all wanted to reach that Champions League final. I was convinced we were going to win. They told me I had to attend the press conference with our manager and I remember I said we were going to win. I recall saying Arsenal wasn’t going to have a good time. That’s what I felt. We were so strong in our own stadium. Everybody enjoyed themselves when we played Barcelona or Real Madrid. Playing at our stadium was very difficult for any rival.”