Valencia Club de Futbol are one of the biggest and third most supported club in Spain. Based in the city of Valencia in the south-east of Spain in the Valencian Community region, the club have been consistently successful in Spain although they haven’t garnered as many trophies as they ought to have done. They have won 6 La Liga titles and one UEFA Cup so far in their history but did reach the final of the UEFA Champions League in two successive years at the start of this century.
Valencia CF was established in 1919 with Octavio Augusto Milego becoming the first ever president of the club. Valencia have won 6 La Liga titles, 7 Copa del Rey trophies, one UEFA Cup, two Inter Cities’ Fairs Cup, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and two UEFA Super Cups. They won the Spanish first division title twice in three years in 2002 and 2004 under the leadership of Rafael Benitez and also clinched the UEFA Cup in 2004.
Valencia enjoyed one of their best periods in history under the former Real Madrid player Alfredo di Stefano in the early 1970s. The Argentine landed in Valencia in April 1970 and soon transformed the shape and altered the hue of the club. In his first full season as coach of Valencia in 1970-1971 he led Valencia to the Spanish title and narrowly lost the Copa del Rey to FC Barcelona at the Bernabeu. But Valencia couldn’t pick up much domestic league success since then until the first few years of the 21st century even after Argentine sorcerer Mario Kempes had alighted the city with his fascinating football in the mid-1970s.
Valencia reached the final of the coveted UEFA Champions League in 2000 and 2001 but unfortunately their Cup curse caught up with them and they lost both the encounters. Valencia lost the 2000 final to Spanish rivals Real Madrid 3-0 and were beaten on penalties by German giants Bayern Munich the next year.
Valencia are known as Los Che to its supporters who are one of the most passionate ad impatient in the whole of Spain. Los Che play their home matches at the 53,469-seater Mestalla where they have been based since 1923 but are schedule to shift to the Nou Mestalla in the north-west part of the city in 2009. Nou Mestalla has a capacity of 75,000.
The symbol of Valencia CF is the bat and there are two different reasons behind choosing such an emblem. One reason is simply that bats abound in Valencia and in the region surrounding it. Another reason cuts deeper and has historical allusion. As the theory goes, on October 9, 1238 when James I was about to enter the city of Valencia and to reclaim it from the Moors, a bat landed on top of his flag and James I construed it as a good luck omen. The bat was later added to his arms and subsequently to the Valencia emblem.
At the moment though Valencia are not doing too well in the league. Los Che are courting relegation fears as the current La Liga curtains down to a close. Their current president is Augustin Morera and the team is being coached by Salvador Gonzalez “Voro” after Ronald Koeman was sacked in late April. Valencia boast of players such as David Villa, David Silva, Santiago Canizares, David Albelda, Edu and Fernando Morientes.
The club’s major achievements include:
- 6 La Liga
- 7 Copa del Rey
- 2 Supercopa de Espana
- 1 UEFA Cup
- 1 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup
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