Ángel María Villar

This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Villar and the second or maternal family name is Llona.
Ángel María Villar

Villar in 2009
First Vice President of UEFA
Assumed office
Personal details
Born Ángel María Villar Llona
(1950-02-21) 21 February 1950
Bilbao, Spain
Nationality Spanish
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Occupation Footballer (retired)

Association football career
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1961–1969 Athletic Bilbao
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1969–1981 Athletic Bilbao 291 (8)
1969–1970 → Galdakao (loan)
1970–1971Getxo (loan)
National team
1972 Spain amateur 1 (0)
1973–1979 Spain 22 (3)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Ángel María Villar Llona (born 21 January 1950) is a retired Spanish footballer who played as a midfielder.

After having represented Athletic Bilbao during a full decade (appearing in 361 official games and scoring 11 goals),[1] he went on to serve an even longer stint as president of the Spanish Football Federation.

Club career

Villar was born in Bilbao, Biscay, and emerged through the youth ranks of local Athletic Bilbao, going on to make his senior debuts in amateur football, loaned,[2] after which he returned in 1971. With the Basque side, he was an undisputed starter in nine of his ten seasons, helping them to two Copa del Rey finals and winning the 1973 edition.[3]

In March 1974, during a 0–0 La Liga home draw against FC Barcelona, Villar elbowed opposing superstar Johann Cruyff, as the Dutch was subject to severe man-marking by several Athletic players.[4] He eventually received a four-match ban for his actions, but the pair later reconciled,[5] and Villar retired seven years later, with more than 350 competitive appearances for his main club.

International career

Villar played 22 times for Spain, scoring three goals. His debut came on 17 October 1973 in a 0–0 friendly with Turkey, in Istanbul.[6]

On 9 December 1979, his last cap, Villar helped the nation qualify for UEFA Euro 1980, netting in a 3–1 win in Cyprus.[7] He did not participate however, in any major international tournament.


In 1979, still as an active player, Villar majored in law, and would practice the activity during the following years, which he accumulated with several posts in the footballing hierarchies – he was one of the founders of the Association of Spanish Footballers in 1978.

Having already worked in the Royal Spanish Football Federation under president José Luis Roca, Villar was elected his successor in 1988, and would stay in office for the following two decades, being in charge as the national team won Euro 2008.

Villar also occupied several roles within UEFA and FIFA, being named the organizations' vice president, respectively in 1992 and 2002. Following Spain's controversial exit at the 2002 FIFA World Cup,[8] he left his post at the latter, but was immediately named, amongst others, for the presidency of the Referees' Committee (also in that year, he was named for that position at UEFA[9]).

Villar led the unsuccessful Spain and Portugal 2018 World Cup bid.[10] On 16 February 2012, he was elected for his seventh term at the helm of the Spanish Federation, remaining in office until 2016.[11]

Following the suspension of Michel Platini in October 2015, Villar became UEFA's acting president.[12] The following month, he was fined 25,000 Swiss francs and warned by the FIFA Ethics Committee for failing to cooperate with the investigation into the bidding process of the 2018 World Cup.[13]

Personal life

Villar's niece, María Villar Galaz, was kidnapped and murdered in Toluca, Mexico in September 2016.[14]



  1. "Los cachorros son casi leones" [The pups are almost lions] (PDF) (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 23 May 1975. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  2. Villar: "Aspiramos al título como el Barcelona" (Villar: "We are title challengers as Barcelona"); Mundo Deportivo, 20 January 1974 (Spanish)
  3. "2–0: No tuvo rival serio en el Castellón" [2–0: Castellón was no serious match] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 30 June 1973. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  4. 0–0: El Barça no acertó a concretar su superioridad (0–0: Barça could not translate its superiority into goals); Mundo Deportivo, 25 March 1974 (Spanish)
  5. Villar: "Quiero olvidarlo todo y pronto" (Villar: "I want to forget everything and quickly"); Mundo Deportivo, 27 March 1974 (Spanish)
  6. 0–0: España se defendió sin ahogos ante Turquia (0–0: Spain had no problem fending off Turkey); Mundo Deportivo, 18 October 1973 (Spanish)
  7. 1–3: Era tan difícil no ganar... (1–3: It was so difficult not to win...); Mundo Deportivo, 10 December 1979 (Spanish)
  8. Ghandour sees red; BBC Sport, 21 July 2002
  9. Referees given full backing; UEFA.com, 5 September 2007
  10. "Give us 2018 and we'll let you have a cheap submarine". Daily Express. 30 November 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  11. Ángel María Villar Llona re-elected RFEF president; UEFA.com, 17 February 2012
  12. "FIFA suspends Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini for 90 days; Chung for six years". ESPN FC. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  13. Ziegler, Martyn (13 November 2015). "Fifa corruption investigation: Uefa vice-president Angel Villar Llona fined and warned over refusing to help 2018 World Cup investigation". The Independent. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  14. "Spanish football chief's niece killed after kidnapping". BBC News. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
Civic offices
Preceded by
Michel Platini
Acting President of UEFA
Succeeded by
Aleksander Čeferin
Sporting positions
Preceded by
José Luis Roca
President of the
Royal Spanish Football Federation

Succeeded by
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