Open main menu

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

Ángel María Villar
Ángel María Villar.jpg
Villar in 2009
Senior Vice President of FIFA
In office
16 March 2017
(as Vice President, 2002) – 2017
PresidentGianni Infantino
Preceded byIssa Hayatou
Succeeded byDavid Chung
First Vice President of UEFA
In office
1992 – September 2017
PresidentLennart Johansson
Michel Platini
Aleksander Čeferin
Acting President of UEFA
In office
9 October 2015 – 14 September 2016
Preceded byMichel Platini
Succeeded byAleksander Čeferin
Personal details
Ángel María Villar Llona

(1950-02-21) 21 February 1950 (age 69)
Bilbao, Spain
Height1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
OccupationFootballer (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

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


Club careerEdit

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 Johan 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 careerEdit

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]

On 18 July 2017, Villar was arrested on suspicion of embezzling funds.[14] Nine days later, he resigned from his post at both FIFA and UEFA.[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Villar's niece, María Villar Galaz, was kidnapped and murdered in Toluca, Mexico in September 2016.[16]


Athletic Bilbao


  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 (in 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 their superiority into goals); Mundo Deportivo, 25 March 1974 (in Spanish)
  5. ^ Villar: "Quiero olvidarlo todo y pronto" (Villar: "I want to forget everything and quickly"); Mundo Deportivo, 27 March 1974 (in 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 (in Spanish)
  7. ^ 1–3: Era tan difícil no ganar... (1–3: It was so difficult not to win...); Mundo Deportivo, 10 December 1979 (in Spanish)
  8. ^ Ghandour sees red; BBC Sport, 21 July 2002
  9. ^ Referees given full backing; UEFA, 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, 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. ^ "Spain football chief Angel Maria Villar Llona arrested". BBC News. 18 July 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Ángel María Villar resigns from Uefa and Fifa positions after arrest in Spain". The Guardian. 27 July 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  16. ^ "Spanish football chief's niece killed after kidnapping". BBC News. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  17. ^ "2–2: Los andaluces remontaron dos ventajas vascas" [2–2: The Andalusians countered Basques' advantage twice] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 26 June 1977. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  18. ^ "Athletic 2–1 Juventus". UEFA. Retrieved 6 April 2017.

External linksEdit

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