José Luis Villarreal
|Full name||José Luis Villarreal|
|Date of birth||17 March 1966|
|Place of birth||Córdoba, Argentina|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|1986–1987||Club Atlético Belgrano||4||(0)|
|1993||Atlético de Madrid||5||(0)|
|1998–2000||Club Atlético Belgrano||49||(3)|
|2002–2004||Club Atlético Belgrano||0||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
José Luis Villarreal (born 17 March 1966) is an Argentinian association football coach and former player. He is the former head coach of Jacksonville Armada FC of the North American Soccer League (NASL).
Villarreal was part of the Argentina squad at the 1992 King Fahd Cup in Saudi Arabia and usually played in midfield. He has played for clubs in Argentina, Mexico, France, and Spain, spending the majority of his time with Buenos Aires club Boca Juniors and hometown Club Atlético Belgrano in Cordoba. His eye for talent has led him to the scouting and recruiting of some of South America's top football talent, namely fellow Argentine Lionel Messi.
Born in Córdoba, Córdoba Province, Villarreal began playing football with local side San Lorenzo de Las Flores at age 16. He signed with Club Atlético Belgrano where he would play two seasons before moving to Boca Juniors. He won the 1992 championship in his five-year stint with Boca Juniors. The following year he signed for Boca's arch-rivals River Plate, where he played from 1993 to 1995.
Villarreal played one season in France at Montpellier before moving to Mexican side C.F. Pachuca during the 1997 season. Reoccurring injuries forced Villarreal to return to Argentina where he played for his home side Belgrano in 1998. He played in Argentina for the remainder of his career and after a short stint at Estudiantes he returned once more before retiring with Belgrano in 2004.
|Atlético de Madrid||Spain||1993|
In 2012, Villarreal was brought to Chilean club Colo-Colo as part of Omar Labruna coaching staff, serving as the deputy manager and training coach for the club. In June 2014, Jacksonville Armada FC, a team in the North American Soccer League (NASL) based in Jacksonville, Florida, announced it had hired Villarreal as the team's inaugural head coach. He parted ways with the club in June 2015.
Villarreal showcased some brilliant midfield work in eight different international appearances with the Argentine national team, the most successful being an International Championship at the 1992 King Fahd Cup, later to be known as the Confederations Cup. Despite an absence of contributing goals during his international career, Villarreal played an instrumental part in the defeat of Saudi Arabia in the first addition of what would become the Confederations Cup.
From 2005 to 2007 Villarreal worked as President of the Academy REDH (Rumbo has Excelencia y Deportiva Humana) where he and Venezuelan academy founder Guillermo Ángel Hoyos recruited top South American talent, most notably Lionel Messi. The program offered a comprehensive educational academy that accompanied advanced football training programs enabled the best South American footballers the opportunity to play in the best clubs in Europe and around the world. Along with his colleagues, Villarreal has managed to place many of the most talented students in the best Spanish, French, Greek, and Italian clubs.
Villarreal goes by the nickname "Villa" which was chanted during his days playing at La Bombonera with Boca Juniors. He lives with his wife Elizabeth, daughter Sofia, son Lucas and dog Milo in Córdoba, Argentina.
- "Argentina National Team Players 1964–1998". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
- "Villarreal named first head coach of Armada FC". Financial News & Daily Record. June 11, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- "Argentina Squad 1992 King Fahd Cup". FIFA.com. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
- "El escudero de Labruna: Amigo de Messi y sueña con que Colo Colo juegue como Barcelona". http://www.emol.com/. Retrieved 2 June 2014. External link in
- "Exclusiva con José Luis Villarreal: "Nunca pensé que los hinchas de Boca me insultarían tanto por mi paso a River"" [Exclusive with José Luis Villarreal: "I never thought Boca fans would insult me for my step as a River player"] (in Spanish). Goal.com. 9 November 2010.
- "A fondo con José Luis Villarreal, la mano derecha de Labruna". Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- "Argentina, primer campeón de campeones". www.marca.com. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- "El escudero de Labruna: Amigo de Messi y sueña con que Colo Colo juegue como Barcelona". www.emol.com. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- "A fondo con José Luis Villarreal, la mano derecha de Labruna". www.colocolo.cl. Retrieved 2 June 2014.