Mellberg joins Villarreal

Swedish veteran determined to win promotion

Olof Mellberg: Swedish veteran has joined Spanish second division club Villarreal

Villarreal have signed Swedish defender Olof Mellberg as they bid to make an immediate to return to La Liga following relegation last season.

The Yellow Submarine went down on the final day after 12 consecutive seasons in the Spanish first division, but the capture of the former Aston Villa, Juventus and Olympiakos centre-back is likely to give them a huge boost.

"I have come here with the plan to help Villarreal to return to the first division and to do so this season coming," explained Mellberg.

"This is a club that should be in the top flight. It is a famous club in Spain and Europe and I heard great things about it."

Mellberg, who scored twice when Sweden lost to England at Euro 2012, spoke to former Villarreal stars David Fuster and Ariel Ibagaza, and coach Ernesto Valverde, who he worked under at Olympiakos.

Easy to sign

"They spoke well about Villarreal and the place," he continued.

"I know a lot of people that have played here and they have all said good things. All that information made it an easy decision for me to sign for the club.

"I have only been here a couple of days, but my early impressions are good. Everyone has treated me so well and I spoke to the coach and he left a good impression."

Mellberg left Olympiakos at the end of last term and returned to Spain 11 years after leaving Racing Santander.