Mikel Arteta has lavished praise on Villarreal as they arrive on Merseyside for a high profile pre-season friendly at Goodison Park on Friday evening.

The Best Little Spaniard we know reckons Villarreal are the third best footballing side in Spain.

Arteta: “They really are one of the most enjoyable teams to watch. After Barcelona and Real Madrid they probably play the best football in the country.

“They keep the ball very well and you have to be patient when you play against them. We will have to make sure take our chances when they come.

“Giuseppe Rossi has been outstanding for them and they also have Nilmar, the Brazilian striker so they are very dangerous and the two of them can cause real problems.

“Rossi has scored a lot of goals, his all-round game is very good, his shot is one of the best and he is quick as well, so he is a very good player.”

Friday´s fixture brings the Spanish club back to Goodison for the first time since the qualifiying rounds of the Champions League in 2005.

Evertonians have bittersweet memories of that tie which ended in an agonising defeat over the two legs – denying the Blues their first taste of Champions League group football.

Villarreal won many admirers with their football that season and went all the way to the last four before narrowly being defeated by Arsenal.

They remain one of Spain’s finest teams and will provide top quality opposition for the Blues in their final outing before the start of the new Barclays Premier League season.

Evertonians can warm up for the 2011/12 campaign by cheering on the Toffees this Friday night.

The match kicks off at 7:45pm and tickets are still available. Adults can watch all the action for just £10 and tickets are £5 for juniors.

To buy your ticket visit evertonfc.com/eticketing, call 0871 663 1878 or drop into the box office at Goodison Park.

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