RIYADH: Salem Al-Dawsari, the Saudi Arabia and Al-Hilal winger, has sent a message of congratulations to former club Villarreal after the Spanish team on Wednesday claimed the Europa League trophy by beating Manchester United on penalties.
Villarreal won the first trophy in their history after a 1-1 draw in normal and extra time produced a dramatic shootout which saw Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea’s spot-kick miss hand the silverware to Unai Emery’s team.
Al-Dawsari spent a loan period at Villarreal prior to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
In a tweet, accompanied by a photo of his former teammates celebrating their historic win, Al-Dawsari said: “Congratulations to @VillarrealCF on winning the @EuropaLeague. Hopefully more trophies to come.”
Although Al-Dawsari’s Villarreal loan period at the end of the 2017-2018 season was brief, he built a warm relationship with the club and its fans, having been one of very few Saudi footballers to taste European club action.
Villarreal had taken the lead through Gerard Moreno on 29 minutes, before Manchester United equalized through Edinson Cavani 10 minutes into the second half. There would be no more goals in normal time or in the extra 30 minutes.
In a remarkable penalty shootout, the first 21 efforts were converted before de Gea’s miss prompted wild celebrations by the Spanish players and fans.