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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Valencia CF Thread

Full name: Valencia Club de Fútbol
Nicknames: Los Ches, Xotos
Founded: 1919
Logo:



Chairman: Juan Bautista Soler Luján
Manager: Quique Sanchez Flores
Ground: Estadio Mestalla
Capacity: 53,000



Valencia Club de Fútbol (also known as Valencia CF or Valencia) are a Spanish professional football club based in Valencia, Spain and are one of the most successful clubs in Spanish football. They play in La Liga and are considered to be the third giant in Spanish football after Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Valencia has won six La Liga titles, six Copa del Rey trophies, three UEFA Cups, a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and two UEFA Super Cups. They have also been UEFA Champions League final runners-up on two different occasions in 2000 and 2001 losing to La Liga rivals Real Madrid in 2000 and Germany's Bayern Munich in 2001. Valencia are also members of the G-14 group of leading European football clubs.

Valencia was founded on March 5, 1919, and have played their home games at the Estadio Mestalla since 1923. With 53,311 seats, Mestalla is the fifth largest stadium in Spain.

History

The club was established in March 5, 1919 and officially approved in March 18, 1919, with Octavio Augusto Milego Díaz as its first president; incidentally the presidency was decided by a coin toss. The club played its first competitive match away from home on 21 May 1919 against Valencia Gimnástico, and lost the match 1-0.


2005: Fans at Estadio Mestalla.Valencia CF moved into the Mestalla stadium in 1923, having played its home matches at the Algirós ground since 7 December 1919. The first match at Mestalla pitted the home side against Castellón Castalia and ended a 0-0 draw. In another match the day after, Valencia won against the same opposition 1-0. Valencia CF won the Regional Championship in 1923, and was eligible to play in the domestic Copa del Rey cup competition for the first time in its history.

First success

The Spanish Civil War halted the progress of the Valencia team until 1941, when it won the Copa del Rey, beating RCD Espanyol in the final. In the 1941-42 season, the club won its first Spanish La Liga championship title, although winning the Copa del Rey was more reputable than the championship at that time. The club maintained its consistency to capture the league title again in the 1943-44 season, as well as the 1946-47 league edition.

In the 1950s, the club failed to emulate the success of the 1940s, even though it grew as a club. A restructuring of Mestalla resulted in an increase in spectator capacity to 45,000, while the club had a number of Spanish and foreign stars. Players such as Spanish international Antonio Puchades and Dutch forward Faas Wilkes graced the pitch at Mestalla. In the 1952-53 season, the club finished as runners-up in the La Liga, and in the following season, the club won the Copa del Rey, then known as the Copa del Generalísimo.


European successes

While managing indifferent league form in the early 1960s, the club had its first European success in the form of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (the forerunner to the UEFA Cup). In the 1961-62 season, Valencia beat Spanish club FC Barcelona in the final. The 1962-63 edition of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final, pitted Valencia CF against Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb, which the Valencians also won. Valencia CF was again present in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final in the 1963-64 season, but was defeated 2-1 by Real Zaragoza from Spain.

Former two-time European Footballer of the Year award winner Alfredo Di Stéfano was hired as coach in 1970, and immediately inspired his new club to their fourth La Liga championship. This secured Valencia its first qualification for the European Cup, contested by the various European domestic champions. Valencia reached the third round of the 1971-72 competition, before losing to Hungarian champions Újpest TE. The most notable players of the 1970s era include Austrian midfielder Kurt Jara, forward Johnny Rep of the Netherlands and Argentinian forward Mario Kempes, who became the La Liga topscorer for two consecutive seasons in the 1976-77 and 1977-78 season. Valencia would go on to win the Copa del Rey again in the 1978-79 season, and also capture the European Cup Winners' Cup the next season, after beating English club Arsenal FC in the final, with Kempes spearheading Valencia's success in Europe.


Relegation and promotion

In 1982, the club appointed Miljan Miljanic as coach. After a disappointing season, Valencia was in the 17th place and faced relegation with seven games left to play. Koldo Aguirre replaced Miljanic as coach, and Valencia barely avoided relegation that year, relying on favorable results from other teams to ensure their own survival. In the 1983-84 and 1984-85 season, the club was heavily in debt under the presidency of Vicente Tormo. The club finally hit rock bottom when it was relegated at near the end of the 1985-86 season, and riven with internal problems such as unpaid player and staff wages, as well as poor team spirit. The club was relegated for the first time after 55 years in Spanish top-flight football.

Arturo Tuzón was named as new president of the club, and he helped steer Valencia CF back to La Liga. Alfredo Di Stéfano returned as coach in 1986, and Valencia won promotion again following the 1986-87 season. Di Stéfano stayed on as coach until the 1987-88 season, which the team finished in 14th position in La Liga. Bulgarian forward Luboslav Penev joined the club in 1989, as Valencia aimed to consolidate their place in La Liga. Guus Hiddink was appointed as head coach in the 1991-92 season, and the club finished fourth in the League and reached the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey. In 1992, Valencia CF officially became a Sporting Limited Company, and retained Hiddink as their coach until 1993.

Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, fresh from winning the 1994 FIFA World Cup with the Brazilian national team, became manager at Mestalla in 1994. Parreira immediately signed the Spanish goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta and the Russian forward Oleg Salenko, as well as Predrag Mijatovic, but failed to produce results expected of him. He was replaced by new coach José Manuel Rielo. The club's earlier successes continued to elude it, although it was not short of top coaching staff like Luis Aragonés and Jorge Valdano, as well as foreign star forwards like Brazilian Romário, and Claudio López and Ariel Ortega from Argentina.


European revival

It was Italian coach Claudio Ranieri who broke the 19-year trophy draught, when he led Valencia to victory in the 1999 Copa del Rey. Héctor Cúper replaced Ranieri after the trophy win, and immediately led Valencia to its first UEFA Champions League final participation in the 1999-00 season, although they lost 3-0 in Paris to Spanish rivals Real Madrid CF. The team subsequently reached another Champions League final in the next season, this time losing to Bayern Munich on penalty shootout.

Héctor Cúper left the club in 2001, and Rafa Benítez was appointed new head coach. Benítez lead the club to its first La Liga title in 31 years, when Valencia were crowned Spanish champions in the 2001-02 season. Valencia won its second La Liga championship in three years, when Benítez guided the club to a double success in the 2003-04 season, winning both the La Liga title and the UEFA Cup before leaving for Liverpool F.C..

They suffered a disappointing 7th place result in the 04/05 season which qualified them for the Intertoto Cup, though they finished as runners-up in that competition.

Valencia improved in 2005-06, finishing third in La Liga, which qualified them for the 2006-07 Champions League. In Europe, Valencia entered the knockout round, where they went through on away goals, as they held Serie A leaders Inter Milan to a 0-0 draw at the Mestalla, having earlier drew at the San Siro 2-2. At the end of the game, a bench-clearing brawl broke out between Valencia and Inter players. In the quarter-finals they met English club Chelsea FC. The first leg was held at Stamford Bridge and the game ended 1-1 with David Silva putting Valencia 1-0 up, but Didier Drogba later scored for Chelsea to make it 1-1. The 2nd leg was played at the Mestalla with the game ending 1-2 to Chelsea (2-3 on aggregate). Fernando Morientes put Valencia 1-0 up before goals from Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Essien ended their run. Valencia was the only La Liga team to make the quarterfinals, with Real Madrid and Barcelona being eliminated in the round of sixteen.


Stadium

Estadio Mestalla.Valencia played its first years at the Algirós stadium, but moved to the Estadio Mestalla in 1923. In the 1950s, Mestalla was restructured, which resulted in a capacity increase to 45,000 spectators. Today it holds 53,000 seats. However Valencia is scheduled to move to a new stadium in the north-west of the city Valencia in 2009. The Nou Mestalla, as it will be called, should hold around 75 000 spectators and will be given 5 star status by FIFA (as its design is specifically built to attain that ranking).


The story of the bat

Origin/Meaning:

Valencia and the Balears were conquered by King Jaume I of Catalunya and Aragon during the first half of the 13th century. After the conquest the king gave them the status of independent kingdoms of whom he was also the king (but they were independent of Catalan or Aragonese laws and institutions). The arms of Valencia show those of Jaume I, as Count of Barcelona and king of Aragon.

The unique crowned letters L besides the shield were granted by King Jaume. The reason for the letters was that the city had been loyal twice to the King, hence twice a letter L and a crown for the king.

There are several possible explanations for the bat; one is that bats are simply quite common in the area. The second theory is that on October 9th, 1238, when Jaume I was about to enter the city, re-conquering it from the Moors, one bat landed on the top of his flag, and he interpreted it as a good sign. As he conquered the city, the bat was added to the arms.


And finally and most importantly, Club Mascot

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The Titles


6 LIGA TITLES



Season 1941/42 - Season 1943/44 - Season 1946/47Season 1970/71 - Season 2001/02 - Season 2003/04


7 COPAS



1941 VALENCIA 3 - ESPAÑOL 1
Mundo (2), Asensi - June 29 - Chamartín Stadium (MADRID)

1949 VALENCIA 1 - ATHLETIC BILBAO 0
Epi - June 29 - Chamartín Stadium (MADRID)

1954 VALENCIA 3 - FC BARCELONA 0
Fuertes (2), Badenes - June 20 - Chamartín Stadium (MADRID)

1967 VALENCIA 2 - ATHLETIC BILBAO 0

Jara, Paquito - July 2 - Santiago Bernabéu Stadium (MADRID)

1979 VALENCIA 2 - REAL MADRID 0
Kempes (2) - June 30 - Vicente Calderón Stadium (MADRID)

1999 VALENCIA 3 - ATLÉTICO MADRID 0
Claudio López (2), Mendieta - June 26 Olímpico Stadium (SEVILLA)


2 SPANISH SUPER CUP



1949

1999

First-leg: VALENCIA 1 - FC BARCELONA 0
Claudio López - August 8

Second-leg: FC BARCELONA 3 - VALENCIA 3
Albelda, Sánchez - Farinós August 15


1 UEFA CUP



2003/04 VALENCIA 2 - OLYMPIQUE DE MARSELLA 0
Vicente, Mista - May 19, 2004 Ullevi Gothenburg (Gothenburg)


2 FAIRS CUP (FORMER UEFA CUP)



1961/62
First-leg: VALENCIA 6 - FC BARCELONA 2
Guillot (3), Yosu (2), Héctor Núñez - September 8, 1961

Second-leg: FC BARCELONA 1 - VALENCIA
1 Guillot - September 12, 1961

1962/63
First-leg: DINAMO DE ZAGREB 1 - VALENCIA 2
Waldo, Urtiaga
Second-leg: VALENCIA 2 - DINAMO DE ZAGREB 0
Mañó, Héctor Núñez


1 WINNERS CUP



1979/80 ARSENAL 0 - VALENCIA 0
Penalties: Arsenal 4 - Valencia 5 - May 14, 1980


2 EUROPEAN SUPER CUPS



1980/81

First-leg: NOTTINGHAM FOREST 2 - VALENCIA 1
Felman - November 26, 1980

Second-leg: VALENCIA 1 - NOTTINGHAM FOREST 0
Morena - December 17, 1980

2004/05 PORTO 1 - VALENCIA C.F 2

Baraja, Di Vaio - August 27, 2004 - Luis II Stadium (Mónaco)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Legendary Valencianistas


Edmundo Suárez 'Mundo'



Part of the mythical 'electric forwards' of the forties, with exceptional physical power and a good scoring ability, 'Mundo' became the top goalscorer of Valencia in the decade of the forties. His 15 goals in the first season as Valencian footballer gave him the nickname of goal-man in the old way, and he went on to score more than 200 goals by the end of his sporting career. He was in Valencia for eleven seasons, between 1939-40 and 1949-50. The Pichichi trophy (maximum goal scorer) was given to him twice, in the 41-42 and 43-44 seasons, with 27 goals in each one. That was a record very difficult to equalise. Thus he became the top goalscorer in the Spanish football.

His strong and impulsive character gave him complete offensive ability and a facility to shoot from any position, a skill that enabled him to wear the national team shirt three times. After leaving Valencia in the 49-50 season, he signed up for Alcoyano, although that was not the end of 'Mundo' with the Mestalla club, since later on he would provide Valencia with days of glory as a coach.

Overall Record

CUP: 63 matches/ 55 goals
REGIONAL LEAGUE: 10 matches (39/40), 21 goals
THE CUP OF FOUR:5 matches (40/41, 46/47), 2 goals
SUPER CUP:1 match (47/48)
TITLES: 3 Leagues, 2 Cups, 1 Regional
TOTAL: 287 matches, 269 goals

Epifanio Fernández 'Epi'



Epi was a colleague of Mundo in the 'electric forwards'. Since his arrival in Valencia in the 1940-41 season he did not stop showing exceptional technical quality in the great matches he played with Valencia for more than a decade. He got it right from his first season with Valencia when they won the 1941 Cup. All the best clubs fought over the wonderful right winger from San Sebastian, since his name was already known through out the whole Spanish football world. Atlético, Español and Real Madrid wanted him in their teams, but finally Valencia managed to hire him. He got fifteen international caps and Valencia had in him one of the best wingers in their history.

Overall Record

CUP: 57 matches/ 28 goals
TITLES: 3 Leagues, 2 Cups
TOTAL: 255 matches, 101 goals

Teams: Basconia, Real Sociedad, Valencia, Real Sociedad

Antonio Puchades



Foreign footballers arrived in Spanish football during the period of Antonio Puchades. The midfielder from Sueca started in the world of football in his hometown and later, in 1946, he formed part of the Valencia team, where he would remain until the 57-58 season. In this decade, Puchades got several titles.

In less than three seasons he would become a mainstay of the club. Right up until his retirement, in the late fifties, he was a key player in Valencia. A good-natured person, he shone for thirteen seasons in Valencia and in the Spanish national team, where he played 23 matches, the first of them in 1949.

TEAMS: Sueca, Mestalla, Valencia
First Division LEAGUE: 257 matches / 4 goals

CUP: 39 matches/ 2 goals
EUROPE: 2 matches (52/53)
SUPER CUP: 2 matches (47/48, 49/50)
TÍTULOS: 1 League, 2 Cups, 1 Spain Super Cup
TOTAL: 300 matches, 6 goals

Quincoces II



The footballer from Vitoria Juan Carlos Quincoces made his debut in Valencia in the 1953-54 season. Footballer that came from Mestalla, before having the opportunity of making his debut in Valencia in the last stretch of the League, he could boast of being Cup winning champion when he was only 20 years old. This footballer, who alternated the position as back and central defender, was a slim and very effective defender who managed to be in the team from the good times of 1954 until the international successes of 1960, when he was captain of the Valencia team. He developed a brilliant career during the eleven seasons that he was in the Mestalla club. He played 120 matches in a row in the League, in addition to those of the Cup, which means that up to the 58-59 season he did not miss one appointment in official competitions.

Waldo



Coming from Fluminense, Waldo Machado was the first Brazilian who succeeded in Valencia. His cheerful game surprised not only the whole Spain but also Europe for ten years. He had an unusual ability to score off free kicks, as well as to shoot from any position.

Already in his first season in Valencia, the Brazilian scored 15 goals. During the 62-63 season, he was again the team’s top goalscorer with 12 goals. In 1964 he beat all with 18 goals, until in the 1966-67 season he got the 'Pichichi' with 24 goals. That was his sixth season in the club and Waldo had still three more seasons to prove his quality and his innate ability to score.

Waldo Machado da Silva (Niteroi, Brasil, 1934)

EQUIPOS: Fluminense, Valencia, Hércules
LIGA 1ª División: 216 matches / 117 goals

CUP: 30 matches/ 13 goals
EUROPE: 50 matches, 30 goals
TITLES: 2 Copas de Ferias, 1 Copa
TOTAL: 296 matches, 160 goals
Guillot



After two years playing in Mestalla, Vicente Guillot made his debut in Valencia in the season 61-62.
The speciality of this Valencia footballer was to cause penalties. He was very fast and knew he was constantly getting fouls. The match of the first Copa de Ferias during the season of his debut with the club is an example.

Guillot and Waldo had a perfect mutual understanding, and both finished their period in Valencia when Alfredo di Stéfano arrived as Valencia coach. Real Madrid wanted to sign both of them up.

TEAMS: Salesianos, Mestalla, Valencia, Elche
1ST Division League: 152 matches / 51 goals

CUP: 47 matches/ 11 goals
EUROP: 37 matches, 18 goals
TITTLES: 2 Copas de Ferias, 1 Copa
TOTAL: 236 matches, 80 goal

Claramunt



Pepe Claramunt started as a footballer in the Valencia school and in his stage in the youth team he was handed over to Saguntino. Led by Mundo, his first coach in Valencia, he participated in an American tour with the team at the end of the 65-66 League. He was 20 years old and made his debut in an official competition in the 66-67 season. Moreover, Claramunt managed to be an international player when he was only 22 and became the first Valencian who was captain of the Spanish football team. He remained in Valencia until the 77-78 season, without missing almost any official match.

For more than thirteen years he was the jack-of-all-trades in his team, playing in the center and right side, or even playing as outside left with the Spanish team, with whom he played 23 matches. He played four Cup finals and won it in 1967. He was also champion of the League in 1971. He was the spinal column of the centerfield with Di Stéfano. Despite some moments of crisis, he never lost his individual category that gave him his good quality as a footballer.

José Claramunt Torres (Puzol, Valencia, 1946)

TEAMS: Mestalla, Saguntino, Mestalla, Valencia
First Division LEAGUE:295 matches / 60 goals

CUP: 55 matches/ 15 goals
EUROPE: 31 matches, 8 goals
TITLES:1 League, 1 Cup
TOTAL:381 matches, 83 goals

Kempes



Mario Kempes, the 'matador' discovered by Pasieguito, made his debut in Valencia in the Naranja trophy in 1976, where he did not have a very brilliant start, since he even missed a penalty. In his native Argentina, he started playing in the centre of the pitch with offensive projection and when he was 19 he went to play in Rosario Central. Afterwards he participated in the World Championships in Germany and when he was 22, he came to Valencia, where he would get an enviable record and became to be the greatest idol in the whole history of the club.

After getting two Pichichis with 24 and 28 goals in the Leagues 76-77 and 77-78, Kempes was world champion and top goalscorer in the World Championships of Argentina '78. He became champion of the King’s Cup of 1979 with Valencia and one year later they won the Cup Winners Cup and the European Super Cup. He returned to Argentina, being handed over to River Plate in the 81-82 season, returning one year later to Valencia. Afterwards he played in Hércules and in the Austrian football. In 1993 he said good-bye to the Valencian supporters in a moving tribute match. Kempes has been one of the few footballers who has participated in three world championships. He scored penalties, free kicks, headshots, unlikely shots, in the area, far from it,... For Kempes, any position was good to score off a shot.

Mario Alberto Kempes Chiodi (Belleville, Argentina, 1954)

TEAMS:Instituto, Talleres Córdoba, Rosario Central, Valencia, River Plate, Valencia, Hércules, First Viena, St. Polten
First Division LEAGUE: 185 matches / 116 goals
CUP: 30 matches/ 17 goals
LEAGUE CUP: 4 matches
EUROPE: 28 matches, 13 goals
TITLES: 1 Cup, 1 Cup Winners Cup, 1 European Super Cup
TOTAL: 247 matches, 146 goals

Morena



The Valencia that won the 1980-81 Super Cup is the Valencia of the Uruguayan Fernando Morena, an efficient goalscorer that scored the goal that gave such title to Valencia in the match against Nottingham. He was a star in the period when Mario Kempes had physical problems. The Uruguayan was 28 years old when he arrived at Valencia. With more than 500 goals in his football career, he was aorth of the prestige of being the perfect goalscorer. His performance on the pitch was very effective and, since Kempes had an injured shoulder, he became the maximum goalscorer of the team for that season, the only one he wore the white shirt. The Uruguayan left Valencia to return to his country and to his usual team, Peñarol Montevideo.

TEAMS: Peñarol, Rayo Vallecano, Valencia, Peñarol
First Division LEAGUE: 31 matches / 16 goals

CUP:3 matches/ 4 goals
EUROPE: 6 matches, 4 goals
TITLES:1 European Super Cup
TOTAL: 40 matches, 24 goals

Fernando

Valencia Club de Fútbol´s history has a place of honour for Fernando Gómez, for being the footballer who most times has worn the “Che” shirt, with a total of 434 matches. Fernando was born in Valencia and, for several seasons, was the captain of Valencia. His debut was in 1984. He was also an international player and had the opportunity of participating in the World Cup in Italy. Fernando was a midfielder with a clear offensive disposition, which allows him to show off for being one of the Valencia footballers who has scored more goals, with more than one hundred. This fact is even more remarkable since he did not play as a forward. But Fernando always stood out for his love of the team colours, since he never accepted any of the millionaire bids he was offered in his time to change teams. He deserved becoming one of the great symbols of the Valencianism in the eighties and nineties.



TEAMS: Mestalla, Valencia, Wolverhampton, Castellón
First Division LEAGUE: 420 matches / 107 goals

CUP: 73 matches/ 23 goals
LEAGUE CUP: 2 matches (83/84, 84/85)
EUROPE: 20 matches, 3 goals.
TOTAL: 553 matches, 142 goals

Claudio 'Piojo' López



Doubtless, the Argentinean Claudio Javier López has been one of the most important international players to wear the Valencia shirt. The decade of the nineties will be known in the club history for the winning of important titles that had been hard to get in the previous twenty years and for the leading role of 'Piojo' López. The footballer from Riotercero arrived in Valencia from Racing Club Avellaneda when he was a complete stranger to Europe. His left leg is at present one of the most sought-after ones in football all over the world and his speed characterises his brilliant performances. With 'Piojo', Valencia got the Cup and Spain Super Cup titles. They also played the final of the UEFA Champions League of the 1999/00 season, where Valencia were not able to proclaim themselves champions in the Saint Denis stadium of Paris.

TEAMS: Universidad Córdoba, Racing Club de Avellaneda, Valencia, Lazio
First Division LEAGUE: 130 matches / 47 goals

CUP: 15 matches/ 8 goals
EUROPE:32 matches (96/97, 98/99, 99/00), 16 goals
SUPER CUP: 2 matches (99/00), 1 goal
TITLES: 1 Cup, 1 Spanish Super Cup
TOTAL: 179 matches, 72 goals

Gaizka Mendieta



He was the flagship of the team in the two second places of the European Championships that Valencia CF got, which is confirmed by the fact that the UEFA chose him as the best midfielder in Europe in the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 seasons. He was also honoured as best player of the Spanish League in the 1999-2000 Season. He scored some of the most beautiful, unforgettable and important goals in Valencia´s contemporary history, and has already been champion of the Cup and Spain Supercopa. His arms have lifted the two titles that has achieved in the last 20 years.



Gaizka Mendieta Zabala (Bilbao, Vizcaya, 1974)

EQUIPOS: Castellón, Valencia
LIGA 1ª División: 200 matches / 34 goals

COPA: 26 matches/ 6 goals
EUROPA:45 matches (96/97, 98/99, 99/00), 7 goals
SUPERCOPA:2 matches (99/00)
TÍTULOS:1 Copa, 1 Spain Supercopa
TOTAL: 305 matches, 45 goals
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As you can see, I did a little bit of copy pasting from here and there but boy is editing that stuff is a pain in the ass :D

Anyway:

Amunt Valencia Baby!! :proud: :proud:
 

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As expected, we have no history:pp

:thumbsup: Mestalla, good thread.
 

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Mestalla said:
As you can see, I did a little bit of copy pasting from here and there but boy is editing that stuff is a pain in the ass :D
U're not experienced, you should've left it for the usual bastards (cough*me*cough) who know how to copy and paste without breaking a sweat:D.
 

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DavidVilla7 said:
As expected, we have no history
:dielaugh:

After 20,000 copy pasted words eh?

BTW, we are 20 years younger than the other big clubs in Spain. I see the the bastards had a good head start :D

I have a feeling we'll catch up with them in the year 2040 though. Quique and Soler should be dead by then, so there's no chance they'll be screwing things up for us in that era :hopefull:
 

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Mestalla said:
:dielaugh:

After 20,000 copy pasted words eh?

BTW, we are 20 years younger than the other big clubs in Spain. I see the the bastards had a good head start :D

I have a feeling we'll catch up with them in the year 2040 though. Quique and Soler should be dead by then, so there's no chance they'll be screwing things up for us in that era :hopefull:
:thumbsup:
I don't care about La Liga that much, I want a freakin CL:) (smiles to hide anger:pp).
 

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Mestalla said:
As you can see, I did a little bit of copy pasting from here and there but boy is editing that stuff is a pain in the ass :D

Anyway:

Amunt Valencia Baby!! :proud: :proud:
Yeah right a bit copy pasting...:doh:
From SP...:rollani:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yup SP it is :D

History is good. Atleast we'll have something to look back on when Quique have destroyed us.
I've always wondered if we were considered Spain's third best team historically. Atleti and Bilbao have better local success but we have much better European success.

Does anyone know which team is considered Spain's 3rd best team? What's the consensus amongst Spaniards?
 

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Mestalla said:
I've always wondered if we were considered Spain's third best team historically. Atleti and Bilbao have better local success but we have much better European success.

Does anyone know which team is considered Spain's 3rd best team? What's the consensus amongst Spaniards?
We are better than Atletico even domestically last I checked. We have more points than Atletico in the all time table. I think we reached Athletic Bilbao's amount.

Mestalla, ask K4, he probably knows better than I do.
 

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Yeah but locally Atleti have 9 Ligas and 9 Copas while Bilboa has 8 Ligas and some 20+ Copas. I don't think we hold a candle to them in terms of local success because we have only 6 Ligas and 6 del Rey's.

The same way they don't hold a candle to us when it comes to European success:

Athletic Bilbao (founded in 1903)

8 Ligas
23 King's cups
1 Spanish Supercup

Atletico Madrid (founded in 1903)

9 Ligas
1 European cup winner's cup
1 Intercontinental cup
9 King's cups
3 Spanish Supercups

Valencia (founded in 1919)

6 Ligas
3 Uefa cups
1 European cup winner's cup
6 King's cups
1 Intertoto cups
2 Uefa supercups
2 Spanish supercups

Info is from wikipedia so correct me if I'm wrong.

Valencia is 16 years younger than the other two by the way sowe've done pretty well.

So the question is, is Spain's 3rd best team determined on local success or European?
 

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Mestalla said:
Forget K4, he's too damn anti Valencianist :D
I'll talk to him:strong: :pp

Culed, could he answer? (what am I thinking, he'll bash us simply :ppcause I hate his beloved Barcelona)
 

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Valencia Club de Futbol - History

Valencia Club de Fútbol (also known as Valencia or Los Che) are a Spanish professional football club based in Valencia. They play in La Liga and are one of the most successful clubs in Spanish football. Valencia have won six La Liga titles, six Copa del Rey trophies, three UEFA Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and two UEFA Super Cups. They have also been UEFA Champions League final runners-up on two different occasions in 2000 and 2001, losing to La Liga rivals Real Madrid in 2000 and German club Bayern Munich in 2001. Valencia are also members of the G-14 group of leading European football clubs.

Valencia were founded in 1919, and have played their home games at the 53,311-seater Estadio Mestalla since 1923. They are soon to move into the 75,000-seater Nou Mestalla in the north-west portion of the city in 2009. Valencia have a long-standing rivalry with Levante, also located in Valencia, and with another club in the Valencian Community region, Villarreal.

Valencia is the third most popular football team in Spain (5,3), only behind Real Madrid (32,8) and FC Barcelona (25,7).[1] It is also one of the biggest clubs in the world in terms of number of associates (registered paying supporters), with more than 45,000.



Foundation

In 1919, the centre of the Turia River capital, in the Torino Bar, the idea of creating a football club was put into action. The first president of Valencia Football Club, Octavio Augusto Milego Díaz, was elected by chance: a coin tossed into the air helped deciding between himself or Gonzalo Medina Pernás, who finally got the department of the constituent and festivities commission.

Milego and Medina worked side by side in a small establishment on Barcelona Street which, at first, also acted as a location for the new club. The first Valencian board of directors was also with them, the Pascual brothers and Julio Gascó, Andrés Bonilla, José Llorca, Fernando Marzal and Adolfo Moya.

Nevertheless, the decision of these Valencian pioneers did not have any repercussion neither in the society nor in the media, since the newspapers at that time hardly dealt with sports and, moreover, the socio-political situation of Spain was uncertain. Before the founding of Valencia Football Club, there was already football in the city although there was no dominant club. It seems that football arrived in Valencia thanks to those people in the citrus fruits export business who had visited Great Britain, the cradle of football. That was the case of Francisco Sinisterra or Ramón Leonarte. In the same way, it was pretty common to see British sailors at Valencian ports playing with a ball. Already in 1908, there were several teams in Valencia like Levante, Gimnástico, Hispania or Hispano.

Once the club was set up, the first match played by Valencia was away from home. It took place in Castellón, on the 21st of May of 1919. Valencia’s rival was the Valencian Gimnástico, who won 1-0. The first Valencian line-up in history was: Marco, Peris, Julio Gascó, Marzal, Llobet, Ferré, Fernández, Umbert, Martínez Ibarra, Aliaga and Gómez Juaneda.

The first stadium of Valencia was the Algirós, opened on the 7th of December of 1919. Algirós was the setting for all the club’s matches until 1923, when they started playing in the Mestalla stadium. On the opening day of the first Valencia game at the Mestalla was the Castellón Castalia and the result was a goalless draw. Both teams played again the following day and Valencia won 1-0.

Little by little, the crowd finally decided to go to Algirós in order to see Valencia. Back then, entry tickets were 25 cents and the takings at the gate started to be enough to cover expenses.

During the twenties, the revenge spirit and sports tension were increasing every time the different teams in the Regional Championship had to meet. In 1923, Valencia became regional champions and could participate, for the first time in their history, in the Copa del Rey. The progress in the results of the team proved that they were able to become leaders of the football within the Valencian capital. Three or four years after their founding, Valencia was already the most fearsome enemy for the rest of teams and fanbase was becoming more popular.

The importance of the Valencia team was reinforced due to the fact that they had very good players like Montes or Cubells, who wanted something more than regional football. The fans split up between the staunch supporters for one and those for the other player, like if it all was about two bullfighters: on one hand, there were the cubellistas, and on the other, the montistas. Such rivalry was good for the team, since both players had a common objective: defending the colours of Valencia Club de Fútbol.

Arturo Montesinos, Montes, due to his physical characteristics (he was 1’90 m tall), was a more aggressive player than Cubells. Eduardo Cubells, much more technical than the aforementioned player, was the first international player provided by Valencia and the second one in the Valencian Community, after Agustín Sancho, a player from Cabanes who played in F.C. Barcelona.

Returning to the first participation of Valencia in the Copa del Rey, the whole Turia river capital was full of excitement. The rival team was Sporting Gijón. The first match was played in the Algirós pitch, which had a record capacity. The result was 1-0 for Valencia, goal scored by Montes. A month later, the return match was a big defeat (6-1) for Valencia in Gijón, although since the competition was accounted by points a third match had to be played, which took place in Oviedo, in which Sporting won again 2-0.

Despite the defeat, Valencia took advantage of the fact that they played an important team at a domestic level, since the number of supporters of the “Che” team increased. This progressive increase of the interest in Valencia made the Valencian managers start to look for land that was up for sale in order to build a new stadium for the team. They found one located by the Mestalla irrigation channel.


The Mestalla and Valencia promotion

Ramón Leonarte was the President of Valencia who signed the deed for purchasing the land where Mestalla stands in January 1923. It cost 316.439 pesetas, a considerable amount for the time, which was raised thanks to several loans. The seating capacity of the pitch was to be 17.000 spectators and the project was given to two men bound to the Valencian entity: the architect was Francisco Almenar, future president, and the builder Ramón Ferré, also a member of the club.

The opening of the new stadium took place on the 20th of May of 1923 and the guest team was Levante U.D. The final result was 1-0 for Valencia and the first player who had the honour to score in Mestalla was Montes. A Scottish team, Dundee United, visited Mestalla a week later. They played two days in a row and won on both occasions 0-3 and 0-1, respectively.

Up until 1923 the figure of the coach did not practically exist. It was just before the start of the 23-24 season when the club hired a Czech manager, Anton Fivber, who was the responsible for giving an international prestige to the Mestalla club. The coach did a good job as he made a point of promoting young players, right in a moment when professionalism was little by little dominating the sport.

At that time, the creation of a domestic league that would include the best teams in the country was being promoted in Spain. Valencia’s objective was to participate in such a competition. However, given that they were a young entity and did not have a large curriculum, it was necessary to wait for three years before they could form part of the First Division. At the end of the twenties Luis Colina arrived at the Valencia club and he acted as technical secretary from 1928 to 1956. His work was essential to establish the successes of the club. Besides creating school, Colina was known for having a good eye for signing up new players.

The League was split into First and Second Division. The six champions of the Spanish Cup guaranteed their participation in the First Division: Athletic Bilbao, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Real Sociedad, Real Unión de Irún and Arenas Getxo. The three runner-ups of such championship, Atlético Madrid, Español and Europa joined them as well. There were nine teams and they needed one more in order to create a League that would have ten teams. This one would be the winner of a tournament played by Valencia, Betis, Sevilla and Racing Santander. The Cantabrian team won the right to participate in the First Division, whilst Valencia had to play in the silver category.

The first league championship in which Valencia participated, was in the 28-29 season, ten teams who finally classified in the following order: Sevilla, Iberia Zaragoza, Deportivo Alavés, Sporting Gijón, Valencia, Real Betis, Real Oviedo, Deportivo La Coruña, Celta Vigo and Racing Madrid.

The historic debut of Valencia in the league was on the 17th of February of 1929 in Mestalla, playing Oviedo, with a Valencian victory by 4-2. Pedret, Torregaray, Moliné, Salvador, Molina, Amorós, Pérez, Imossi, Navarro, Silvino and Sánchez played that day. Imossi and Navarro scored one goal each, whilst Silvino scored two goals.

In their third season in the Second Division, Valencia got the promotion they had longed for to the First Division. It was the 1930-31 season and the team led by Fivber showed great superiority. The football players who formed part of the team that got promoted were Cano, Villarroya, Conde I, Melenchón, Torregaray, Pasarín, Torres, Amorós, Arilla, Conde II, Imossi, Molina, Salvador, Costa, Navarro, Octavio, Perona, Picolín, Ricart, Rino, Sánchez, Torredeflot and Vilanova. This promotion closed the first great stage in the life of the club, and opened another one full of glory and victories. After five seasons of getting used to the new league and the big break caused by the Civil War, the best decade in the history of the “Che” team was to arrive.


The Forties

After the Civil War, Valencia had to adjust to the new reality. Many of the football players who belonged to the team in 1936 left the “Che” team three years later. The military also intervened in football as in many other aspects of daily life. In the case of Valencia, in June 1939 Major Alfredo Giménez Buesa was appointed president and Luis Casanova vice-president. One of the objectives of the new regime was the elimination of the professionalism, which was considered a republican reminiscence. Another mainstay of Valencianism, which suffered the consequences of the civil war, was Mestalla, smashed by the continuous air raids. The stadium was redesigned and enlarged thus gaining a capacity of 22.000 spectators.

Due to the transfer of Major Giménez, the presidency of the club was passed on to Luis Casanova. Under him the club lived its best years. Within ten seasons, Valencia won three Leagues and two Cups, the latter called Generalísimo Cup back then. This success was possible for several reasons: the fact that the main players of the team before the war continued in the team; the wonderful 'electric forwards' formed by Epi, Amadeo, Mundo, Asensi and Gorostiza; the personality of the president Luis Casanova; the performance of the people on the bench like Cubells, Moncho Encinas, Pasarín and Jacinto Quincoces; the recovery of the Mestalla stadium and the creation of the reserve team: the Club Deportivo Mestalla.

But there is no doubt that Valencia had a great team, possibly one of the best ever, with Ignacio Eizaguirre as goalkeeper, two defenders that perfectly understood each other (Álvaro and Juan Ramón) and the electric forwards, formed by two Valencian and three Basque players. This team would conquer the first great national title for the club: the 1941 Cup, versus Español. It was the first victory after two decades of existence, and the celebration in the Turia river capital was tremendous.

One Cup, a third position in the League, several international players in the team and a great future for the club allowed Valencia to be positioned among the ‘big teams’ of Spanish football.

The culmination was when the Mestalla club won the League championship for the first time in its history in the season 41-42. The ironic thing is that back then the Cup was much more important than the League. But it would be unfair to forget that as far as regularity is concerned, Valencia’s season was wonderful. They had a fantastic goal record (85 in 26 matches), Mestalla became a real fortress (only Atlético Madrid won there) and Valencia became a tough team. Moreover, Valencia’s centre forward Edmundo Suárez, Mundo, was the top goalscorer with 27 goals.

After a break of one season, in the 43-44 season, Valencia won the League again. This time, Valencia was on top of the table from the beginning of the championship. This season Barça was the only team to win in Valencia (3-4) in the second match of the League. Mundo was again the high goal scoring pichichi, with 27 goals. The superiority of Valencia even played down the excitement of the League, although Valencia’s supporters were delighted, watching their team getting their third title within four seasons. But in the forties there were also troubles for the Valencian interests. In fact, the Mestalla club is the only one within Spanish football that has lost three finals in a row. Valencia was the Cup runner-up in 1944, 1945 and 1946, and again in 1970, 1971 and 1972. The odd thing is that the three finals lost in the forties had the same setting: the Olympic Stadium in Montjuïc. The stadium of Barcelona was considered jinxed by the Valencia supporters of the time. In the first final Valencia lost 2-0 versus Atlético Bilbao, 3-2 again versus the Bilbao club in 1945 and 3-1 versus Real Madrid in 1946.

In the 46-47 season Valencia won their third league title in a row. On this occasion, Valencia had to suffer till the end in order to get the victory. The start of the championship was poor and in the eighth round the “Che” club was only two points above the last team. The last round arrived and nothing was still decided, with the feeling that Atlético Bilbao was going to be the champions, although Atlético Madrid (Atlético Aviación's new name since January 1947) and Valencia also had a chance. In the last match, the team, trained by Pasarín, beat Gijón 6-0. The other rivals failed. Bilbao drew 3-3 in La Coruña and Atlético Madrid lost at home versus their eternal rival, Real Madrid, 2-3. Valencia were champions thanks to their goal advantage between them and the Basque team, who was beaten by Valencia both in San Mamés and in Mestalla. Since there were neither electronic scoreboards nor radio broadcasting, the securing of the third title was communicated by telephone.

The end of the forties reflected the generation change experienced by the club, where players like Puchades and Vicente Seguí were starting to stand out.

Valencia had lost its three previous finals played in Barcelona. The Cup final of 1949, played in the Spanish capital by Atlético Bilbao and Valencia, was a very difficult match that ended with a goal by Epi, putting an end to a decade of players who had been very profitable for Valencia Club de Fútbol.


The Puchades Period

Although it was not possible to repeat the victories obtained during the previous decade, in the fifties, especially during the first half of the decade, the football performed by the Mestalla club was again worth mentioning. The quality of the football players was good, but the influence of a series of circumstances decreased the efficiency of the team. Foreign players arrived to Spanish football within this decade, which made some clubs become stronger, such like Real Madrid of Di Stéfano and Barcelona of Kubala.

The best football player of Valencia in the fifties was, without any doubt, Antonio Puchades. The player from Sueca became very soon the banner of the team and up until his retirement, he was a key player in the club.

Works of redesign and enlargement of the stadium were undertaken in this decade: the creation of the Big Mestalla. The challenge for the club was creating the setting where there could be played the matches corresponding to the importance of the team, of the city and of the large number of Valencian supporters. The aim was achieved, but the enormous economic effort had negative consequences for the team, which sometimes could not be reinforced in the way it was necessary.

The redesign, which allowed Mestalla to have a capacity of 45.000 spectators, meant an investment close to one hundred million pesetas, a very high amount for the time. But the Valencia home stadium became one of the best in Spain, which made it to be seat of the domestic team during the World Championship in 1982 which took place in Spain, as well as in the Olympic Games of Barcelona ’92.

Another player worth mentioning during the fifties in Valencia is Jacinto Quincoces. A new Valencia became stronger with him, with the youngest players of the former decade like Monzó, Pasieguito, Puchades or Seguí, and the new players (Wilkes, Santacatalina, Buqué, Sendra, Mañó, Mangriñán, Quincoces II, Pla, Sócrates, Gago, Badenes, Quique, Fuertes or Taltavull, among others). The continuity of Quincoces as a coach lasted from 1948 to 1954.

The 50-51 season was the first in which 16 teams took part. Valencia’s play in the championship was very uneven. The big and best-classified teams failed in Mestalla, but they were beaten by Deportivo and Celta and could not do anything else but drawing with teams like Santander or Real Sociedad. Valencia ended up third in the classification and they were beaten by Real Madrid at the very beginning of the Generalísimo Cup. The president resigned, although Luis Casanova was convinced to continue in his position, which he did not leave until 1959.

Valencia reached two finals of the Cup, both playing Barcelona. The first one was in 1952. That year the league was not bad, since the team was classified in fifth position of the season that would end up being the worst one of Quincoces as Che coach. In the Cup, after beating Sevilla and Zaragoza, the team reached the semi-finals, where they played Real Madrid, also beaten by Valencia. The last obstacle in order to get the title was Fútbol Club Barcelona, who played Valencia in Chamartín on the 25th of May of 1952. Badenes put Valencia ahead on two occasions and put the Valencian team on the right path in the final. But the real ‘slap’ was to arrive: just before the break, the blaugrana team managed to reduce the difference. In the second half there were nothing but misfortunes for the team led by Quincoces and the recovery of Barça was complete, achieving a final score of 4-2.

The 52-53 season was good for Valencia. They played very well and managed to be runner-up with a team renewed with players from Mestalla, like Sendra, Mañó, Mangriñán and Sócrates. Barcelona was the champion and Valencia lost all their hopes in the last month of the championship. Moreover, the same Barça also eliminated Valencia in the Cup.

The following league went by almost unnoticed, although it is true that Quincoces players ended up in the third position, behind Madrid and Barça. The best of that year was the attainment of the Generalísimo Cup. The rival was again Barcelona, but this time the Catalan team were beaten 3-0, thus taking the Mestalla club their deserved revenge since the final match of 1952. That 20th of June of 1954, Quincoces selected Quique, Monzó, Puchades, Badenes, Pasieguito, Seguí, Sócrates, Juan Carlos Quincoces (nephew of the coach), Mañó, Fuertes and Buqué as the first eleven players. The goals were scored by Fuertes, in two occasions, and Badenes. This one was a historic victory in Chamartín and the picture of the final was the goalkeeper Quique sitting on top of the longitudinal post, representing the superiority of Valencia.

With this Cup title, Valencia closed the chapter of victories under the presidency of Luis Casanova. After the Cup, there was a transition stage that displeased the supporters. Although until the end of this decade there were still good quality players, the Mestalla club was neither in position for winning the League nor reaching a Cup final in any occasion.

Besides Puchades, other big players belonged to the Valencia team during the second half of the decade. One of the best ones was Servaas Wilkes, a Dutchman coming from Italy who was a real dribbler with the ball at his feet and dazzled the supporters throughout his three seasons as a Valencia player.

For eleven seasons, the Navarra player Juan Carlos Quincoces wore the white shirt and proved to be an effective and very reliable defender, who played all the official matches from the 54-55 season until the 58-59 one (120 matches of the League in a row, plus the Cup matches).

In January of 1956 Manolo Mestre made his debut with Valencia, a football player born in Oliva, who became the Valencia player who won most caps in League matches until Ricardo Arias surpassed him in the nineties.

The flood that affected Valencia in 1957 also hindered the club in the Avenida Suecia. Years of austerity and average results followed this disaster. The president who most years has been in the club, Luis Casanova, left indefinitely the presidency of the club after almost two decades. The president never denied that the passing of his close collaborator Luis Colina, was one of the facts that caused his decision. Vicente Iborra replaced him. With him, but especially with his substitute Julio de Miguel, Valencia would enter into the sixties, dominating the UEFA Cup


Valencia makes mark in Europe

On 2nd July 1961, while the city of Valencia was still in shock over the death of the Brazilian, Walter, in a traffic accident that occurred on the road to El Saler, Julio de Miguel Martínez de Bujanda became president of the club. Thus started another ten good years in the history of Valencia. At the same time, there was a new necessity in Spanish football: competing in the continental tournaments and demonstrating the power measuring up to other European teams.

One of the first successes of the new president was the fact that Valencia was accepted in Fairs Cup, competition that back then was exclusively entered by invitation, and not by way of a good position in the league (The Fairs Cup is the predecessor of the UEFA Cup. Moreover, De Miguel managed to sign up a great player: the Brazilian Waldo Machado, who gave great evenings of football in Mestalla and who would become one of the top goalscorers in the “Che” history. His free kicks, his unbelievable shots and his happy football left a mark in Spain as well as in Europe. The ideal partner for Waldo was Vicente Guillot, whose path was parallel to the Brazilian’s, understanding each other perfectly.

Valencia’s European successes were accompanied, in general, by mediocre leagues. That happened during the 61-62 season, in which Valencia assured home victories, but away they could not gain any positive points. They ended up twelve points behind Real Madrid, in seventh position.

In the Fairs Cup, the first rival who Valencia had to beat was Nottingham Forest, one of the biggest clubs in English football at the time. The first match, at the City Ground , ended up with a spectacular 1-5 to Valencia. After qualifying by beating the English team, the next team was Lausana. Valencia was already in quarter finals and this time the rival was the powerful Inter Milan, which was beaten in Mestalla 2-0 and a draw 3-3 in Milan.

Valencia beat MTK Budapest in the semi-finals, 3-0 in Valencia and 3-7 in Budapest, in one of Valencia’s high goal scoring games in Europe.

An old sparring partner was awaiting Valencia in the final: Futbol Club Barcelona. The victory was historic. Due to the 6-2 result that Valencia managed against Barça in a European final. The thousands of Valencian supporters who filled Mestalla on that 12th September 1962 went crazy. The final was sentenced and in the return match, in Nou Camp, the result was a one-one draw. Zamora, Piquer, Quincoces, Mestre, Sastre, Chicao, Héctor Núñez, Guillot, Waldo, Ribelles and Yosu participated in both matches of the final.

The champion of the Fairs Cup would repeat their title the following season. The first obstacles were three Scottish teams: Celtic, Dunfermline and Hibernian. In the semi-finals Valencia had to play AS Roma. 3-0 in Mestalla and a tight defeat by 1-0 in the Rome Olympic stadium gave Valencia the passport to a new final.

The rival in the final was Dynamo Zagreb. The first match was played in the then Yugoslavian town and Valencia started losing, but then they recovered thanks to Waldo and José Antonio Urtiaga. The return match took place on 26th June 1963 in Mestalla, where 50.000 spectators could witness the superiority of Valencia, who beat the Balkan team by 2-0, with goals scored by Mañó and Héctor Núñez.

In the following season Valencia once more got through to the Fairs Cup final, this time after beating the Irish Shamrock Rovers, Rapid Viena, the Hungarian Ujpest and in the semifinals, the German's Cologne. After a great effort to beat the Germans, another Spanish team was waiting for them in the final: Zaragoza. Unlike the previous final this time the victory was for the team from Aragon, who won the Cup by 2-1. The two goals of Zaragoza were scored by Villa and Marcelino, whilst Urtiaga scored the only goal for Valencia.

The Che team received a strong setback in the final with Zaragoza. That defeat gave way to three years of uncertainty, until July of 1967, when a new title was achieved, but this time the Copa del Rey.

Valencia kept on renewing itself. It was the turn for players like Juan Cruz Sol and Pepe Claramunt. The incorporation of these two men was key for the Mestalla club to achieve an important place within Spanish football again.

With them, and with football players like Waldo or the Asturian goalkeeper Abelardo, Valencia reached the Cup final in 1967. The road was long and difficult, although the first qualifying rounds, with Cadiz and Betis as rivals, were easily won. In the quarterfinals Valencia had to get rid of Real Madrid and in the semi-finals another historic club in the Valencian Community, Elche, had to be taken care of. Valencia was again in a Cup final and had to face an old rival: Athletic Bilbao.

Roberto Gil held up the fourth Cup in the history of Valencia, beating the Basque team by 2-1 in Madrid, goals scored by the Paraguayan Anastasio Jara and Paquito. This new Generalísimo Cup meant a new present for the thousands of Valencian supporters.

In the following season Valencia made its debut in the Cup Winners Cup. A competition where Valencia managed to win two qualifying rounds beating Crusaders form Northern Ireland and Steaua Bucarest, before being eliminated by Bayern Munich, which had already legendary players like Sepp Maier and Franz Beckenbauer.

After that Cup in 1967, Valencia had three modest years, until the beginning of the seventies, when titles would return to Valencia.


The Alfredo di Stefano Period

Alfredo Di Stéfano landed in Valencia in April of 1970, in a bad time for the Mestalla club, replacing the pair formed by Enrique Buqué and Salvador Artigas. In that season, Valencia lost a Cup final Barcelona again, this time playing Real Madrid (3-1). Montjuïc was again a jinxed stadium for Valencia’s interests, who had everything in their favour in that final: Madrid was in one of the worst league positions in their history and in the first half Grosso and Amancio were injured, but nevertheless, Madrid finally got the victory.

Di Stéfano's first season leading the team is one of the most intense and exciting ones in the history of the Valencia and it meant the last league championship up until the noughties. Di Stéfano created a new team, sound and strong in defence with players like Sol, Aníbal, Jesús Martínez and Antón, helping a reliable goalkeeper in Abelardo. Smart and precise football in the centre of midfield, where the reference player was Pepe Claramunt; and agile and fast forwards, perfect for the counterattack with Forment, Valdez, Sergio and Pellicer as key players.

The 70-71 season was the last one in which 16 teams would participate, and after the first matches Valencia was already in a dangerous position where they could even be descended from the Primera Division Little by little the results started improving and Valencia consolidated to mid-table. The big match of that championship was the one played at the Nou Camp, Valencia beat Barcelona 2-0, with goals from Claramunt and Valdez, and a penalty stopped by Abelardo. It was the push Valencia needed to try and fight for the title.

What is most remembered about that season is the last match of the season, played in Sarriá. Valencia was the leader, with 43 points, where as Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, who were rivals, had 42 and 41 respectively. Di Stéfano's team needed only a point which they did not get, since they were beaten by Españyol 1-0, but since colchoneros and culés drew, the title was heading back to Valencia. Many analysts agree that Valencia won their fourth league thanks to the solidity in defence and thanks to Abelardo the goalkeeper.

Once the league season ended, Valencia faced the Cup final convinced they could get both titles as in 1944. The “Che” team arrived to the final, eliminating Mallorca, Betis, Málaga and once in semi-finals, Sevilla. They arrived to the final without losing any match, having scored eighteen goals in eight matches, as league champions and in very high spirits. The setting was Santiago Bernabéu and the rival, a sore Barcelona. The victory was for the Catalan team, which beat Valencia 4-3 in a great match. Valencia could not culminate one of the best seasons in their history.

The winning of the League title gave them the opportunity to make their debut in the European Cup, the top competition within continental football. Valencia’s path in this competition was brief, since they beat Luxemburgo and Hajduk Split but lost in the third round with Ujpest Dosza.

Although Valencia’s team was possibly better than the one who won the League championship, in the 71-72 season they could only manage to be runner-up. Valencia was the current champions and all the teams had it in for them. The signing up of Quino, Adorno and Lico improved the potential of the team, although it was not enough to repeat the success of last season and the champion was Real Madrid.

Once more, Valencia lost a Cup final, this time against Atlético Madrid 2-1. Salcedo scored first, Valdez drew level and José Eulogio Gárate scored the goal that gave the victory to Madrid. This defeat meant a new setback for more than 20.000 Valencian supporters who were present at the match.

In 1973 the president Julio de Miguel resigned, one year after the decease in Mestalla of the manager Vicente Peris, his right hand man. After the president left, Valencia continued the League without distinction. In the first staging of the UEFA Cup competition that replaced the Fairs Cup (its predeccesor), Valencia made their debut playing Manchester City, but they were beaten in the next round by Estrella Roja Belgrado.

Francisco Ros Casares replaced Julio de Miguel, with a conflicting board of directors whose biggest success was the purchase of the land in Paterna, where the future “Ciudad Deportiva” Valencia’s training facility was to be located.

Spanish football opened its borders, which allowed each team to sign two foreign players up, ending up with the problem of those non-Spanish footballers whose mother or father were Spanish. One of the first players to arrive in Mestalla was Salif Keita, a forward from Malí who came from his success in French football. The other player that signed up was the Austrian Kurt Jara. The season was bad and Valencia did not even participate in any European competition, which had not happened since their debut in 1961.

Although this season was very difficult, there were great players in the Valencia team, like Johnny Rep, a wonderful Dutch outside right winger, who came from one of the best European teams at the time: Ajax Amsterdam.

After the Ros Casares period it was the turn for José Ramos Costa, elected president in January of 1976. Under his presidency, the Mestalla club lived a sporting career marked by the Cup title in 1979 and the Cup Winners Cup title in 1980, although from the economic point of view Valencia started to get into debt mainly due to the redesigning works in Mestalla so that it could be ready for the World Cup in 1982.


Don't say Kempes, say Goal

With the start of the 76-77 season, Valencia began a completely different era. The Paraguayan Heriberto Herrera arrived in Valencia as a coach and the new players Castellanos, Diarte, Carrete, Botubot, Arias and especially Mario Kempes the Argentina Superstar joined Valencia, among others.

Kempes is the most important footballer to have played for Valencia, due to his international successes (he was part of Argentina’s team that won the World Championship in 1978) as well as to his performance with Valencia Club de Fútbol. Kempes was the top goalscorer of the Spanish League in two occasions, in the 76-77 (24 goals) and 77-78 (28 goals) seasons, top goalscorer in the World Cup that took place in his country in 1978 and key player in winning the 1979 Copa del Rey and the 1980 European Cup Winners Cup. His charisma, his free kicks and his scoring ability made an Argentinean journalist baptise him with the nickname of ‘Matador’ and the whole of Mestalla would shout ‘Don’t say Kempes, say goal’ every Sunday.

A dismissed coach (Heriberto Herrera), a crack like Kempes in the team, players from Valencia who were getting better like Enrique Saura or Ricardo Arias, a good performance of the new signed up players Castellanos, Carrete and Botubot, all those were the keys of the first season of Ramos Costa as president.

Another important name in Valencia in that time was Ricardo Arias, the player who had the most caps throughout the history of Valencia. For sixteen seasons, the footballer from Catarroja was the main character of the most brilliant and saddest moments in the lifetime of Valencia.

The Spanish-French Marcel Domingo replaced Heriberto Herrera at the head of the season and he was in charge of returning Valencia to Europe, after a five-year period of absence. Domingo, who came from training Burgos, brought three players with him, the goalkeeper Manzanedo standing out among them.

Throughout the seasons, Valencia never lacked good quality players. Other footballers who arrived within these years were Daniel Solsona and Rainer Bonhof, international German player who had been world champion in 1974. Daniel Solsona, on his side, has been one of the most technical footballers to have played in Valencia.

The 78-79 season stood out for the performance in the cup competitions. The competition was not easy. The team managed by Pasieguito, who had replaced Domingo, had to test out against Barça. The outward match had an illuminating result: Barcelona 4 - Valencia 1. The qualifying round seemed sentenced and few people believed in the Valencian recovery. But in the match played in Mestalla, Valencia turned the qualifying round completely and beat the blaugrana team 4-0, result that allowed Valencia to continue in the Cup... and go all the way to the final.

After Barça, the rivals came from the Second Division, and Valencia comfortably beat Alavés as well as Valladolid. They arrived in to the final to face Real Madrid. The setting was the Vicente Calderón. In the terraces, 25.000 Valencian supporters waved the Valencian flag the senyeras in the Spanish capital, celebrating one of the best victories in the history of the club. Valencia, who played with the senyera kit, was formed by Manzanedo, Carrete, Arias, Botubot, Cerveró, Bonhof, Castellanos, Solsona, Saura, Kempes and Darío Felman and Tendillo took part as well. Valencia won 2-0, both goals by the Argentinean star of the “Che” team. Together with Kempes, the most outstanding man in that final was Arias.

The celebration in the town of Turia was complete. But it would still be bigger the following season, again in a European competition. After the King’s Cup title, Valencia played the European Cup Winners Cup. Pasieguito was again the technical secretary and Alfredo di Stéfano was again in charge of the winning in Europe. Thanks to the European title, the League and the Cup that stood in the background, the 79-80 season was one of the most successful seasons for Valencia. The Mestalla team had to beat quality rivals such Copenhagen, Glasgow Rangers, Barcelona, the French team Nantes and in the final the Londoners Arsenal.

Around 7.000 Valencian people went to Brussels to attend the European final opposite the gunners from Arsenal, who were lower than the English supporters present at the Heysel stadium. The team was composed by Pereira, Carrete, Arias, Tendillo, Botubot, Solsona, Bonhof, Subirats, Saura, Kempes and Pablo. Already in the extra time, Castellanos replaced Subirats. The team was modest and with a lot of tension. After 120 minutes of play and with 0-0 the score, the final had to be solved by penalties. It was the turn for Valencia and for Kempes, who missed the first penalty. The things did not start right. But Ian Brady, also missed his. The following eight in a row were scored (Solsona, Pablo, Castellanos and Bonhof scored for Valencia) and gave way to a sudden death. Ricardo Arias beat Pat Jennings and Pereira became the hero of the final when he stopped Rix's penalty. Euphoria erupted and Saura was in charge of picking up the European Cup Winners' Cup.


Valencia is relegated to the Second Division

The 80-81 season started of with the European Super Cup. No Spanish team up until that year had won this competition, that brings the winner of the European Cup and the winner of the Cup Winners' Cup. Some of Valencia’s footballers of the time complained on several occasions because the title was not considered to have any special meaning in Spain until Barcelona got it in 1992, a decade after Valencia did.

Valencia’s rival was an old acquaintance, Nottingham Forest, current European and Super Cup champions and a team with great potential. The competition was played on two legs. The English won the first leg, in the mythical City Ground, 2-1, the Valencian goal being scored by the Argentinean Felman. Everything was still to be decided at the Luis Casanova. Valencia played with Sempere, Cerveró, Botubot, Arias, Tendillo, Castellanos, Saura, Solsona, Morena, Kempes and Felman. The Uruguayan Fernando Morena scored the only goal of the match and the double value of the away goal scored at the City Ground gave Valencia their first European Super Cup title.

As far as the League was concerned, in that season Valencia had a chance of winning the championship, although they did not manage to pull it off. They were fourth in the table, three points behind the leaders: Real Sociedad. One of the reasons for the average performance in the final stage of the league season played by Valencia was the departure of two of the stars of the team, Mario Alberto Kempes and Fernando Morena, who returned to their countries of origin in order to play in River Plate and in Peñarol respectively.

From that point, the social and sporting situation of Valencia Club Fútbol started to get worse. The celebration of the World Cup in Spain was a large financial burden for the club, since the upgrading work on the stadium were born by the club. In the 81-82 season, Valencia had a secondary role and ended up in fifth position in the league. After Kempes and Morena's departure, a great player entered the team, the Danish Frank Arnesen, who was only able to put in a good performance in the first year, since injuries kept him away from the field of play for a long time. A young footballer from Betxí, who would become a symbol of his time also made his debut that year: Roberto Fernández.

In the following season (82-83), the disaster that was on its way started to be visible. The economic situation was getting worse. With Miljan Miljanic as coach, the only joys of the season were the victory in Mestalla against Diego Maradona’s Barça, Kempes's return to the team after his short stay in River and the elimination of Manchester United, Banik Ostrava and Spartak Moscú in the UEFA Cup. The rest were nothing but problems and anxiety. With only seven left to play before the end of the season and Valencia was in a desperate situation in the table, Koldo Aguirre replaced Miljanic, who had been dismissed after losing 5-2 in Sarriá.

Valencia had to win the last match of the season and wait for the results of its rivals in order to avoid relegation to the Second Division and continue in the first division. In Mestalla, Valencia had to play Real Madrid, who was risking their League title. Valencia won 1-0, with a goal scored by Tendillo. The other results of that round of matches were also favourable for them: Atlético beat Racing Santander in Madrid and Celta Vigo lost in Valladolid, both by 3-1, whilst Las Palmas was beaten 1-5 at the San Mames by Athletic Bilbao, who became champions of La Liga. Valencia had amazingly survived relegation.

The two following seasons (83-84 and 84-85) were a transition to even worse times. Ramos Costa had left the presidency, which was now taken by the cardiologist Vicente Tormo. The club’s debt amounted to more than 2.000 million pesetas and the number of members had decreased a lot. In the face of the bad situation of the club, many footballers from the youth team started to play, among them it is worth mentioning a man who gave everything for Valencia: Fernando Gómez Colomer.

The situation became complicated to unexpected limits. Many footballers did not get paid and the club was up to its neck in debt. The responsibility for training the team fell on Óscar Rubén Valdez. The new signings did not turn out well, since Muñoz Pérez as well as Sánchez Torres went through Valencia without distinction. The relegation to the Second Division culminated in this fateful season: 85-86. The team did not have a bad start but the situation became more and more complicated. In the 22nd round of matches Valencia lost 6-0 in Atocha, which caused the dismissal of Valdez and the return of Di Stéfano to the Valencian bench. With only four games left, Valencia were already relegated to the Second Division, although a victory in Sánchez Pizjuán in Sevilla (0-2) and home against Hércules (3-1) gave some hope of returning to La Liga next season. The team confirmed the relegation by losing 3-0 at the Nou Camp and two draws with Cádiz and Betis. That draw put an end to 55 consecutive seasons in the elite of the Spanish football, with four League titles, five Copa del Rey's, two European Fairs Cups, one Cup Winners' Cup, one Super Cup and a history full of great footballers of international standard. The relegation was the saddest day in the history of Valencia CF.


The Resurgence of Valencia

Footballers, managers and many supporters agree that the relegation to the Second Division helped Valencia to recover from their problems and to get back on course. Fifteen years later, the relegation is forgotten about and Valencia rubs shoulders with the best Spanish and European teams once again.

The president of Valencia after the relegation was Arturo Tuzón. The supporters, very much upset about playing in the Second Division, did not abandon Valencia and showed their love for the Mestalla club. In fact the number of members increased. Valencia were champions of the Second Division and returned to the First Division only one year after the relegation.

The core of good Valencia players for the following years was created in the Second Division, with Fernando, Quique, Giner, Voro, Revert, Arroyo, Fenoll, Bossio and the players left from the relegated Valencia, Sempere, Subirats and Arias.

After the promotion Valencia looked at consolidating their position in La Liga. In the 87-88 season, Algerian Rabah Madjer played for six months, signed from FC Porto, it was a transition period and the team ended up in fourteenth position. That was the last season for Alfredo di Stéfano on the Valencia bench, at his third spell as the “Che” coach.

In order to face the following season, the board of directors led by Tuzón thought of Víctor Espárrago, who was currently managing Cádiz. The Uruguayan was a responsible man who transmitted his personality to the team, with him Valencia got back to contending for the La Liga crown and ended up third in the 88-89 League and runner-ups in 89-90.

The 89-90 season was brilliant for Valencia, the team played a wonderful league campaign and put in an acceptable Copa del Rey performance, plus they played two rounds of the UEFA Cup, against Victoria Bucarest and FC Porto led by Rabah Madjer, which saw Valencia unfairly eliminated. The start of the league season was disappointing, although the team started improving as the season went on. When the league had already started the Bulgarian forward Luboslav Mladenov Penev arrived at Valencia from CSKA Sofia known for his goal scoring. Moreover, this season saw the farewell of Javier Subirats, after twelve years at Valencia.

The next season, the board of directors led by Arturo Tuzón bet on the same team that had got them second place the previous season, with the reinforcement of Roberto, who returned after playing in Barcelona. Nevertheless, in this season Valencia only got seventh position. In the UEFA Cup, Roma eliminated the “Che” team in the quarter finals with a controversial refereeing decision that had an influence on the final result of the match. Valencia also lost in the Copa del Rey quarter finals to Mallorca.

In the 91-92 season, Valencia invested heavily on reinforcing the team. After Víctor Espárrago's departure, the Dutch coach Guus Hiddink arrived at Valencia, he had been European champion whilst managing PSV Eindhoven in the late 80's. In regards to the signings, the most remarkable ones were the Panamanian forward Rommel Fernández and the highly talented Brazilian Leonardo. In the league, Hiddink's team ended up fourth, whilst in the King’s Cup Real Madrid eliminated Valencia in the quarter finals.

There was a great hope for the possibilities of the new Valencia, which in that season lived important events, such as the opening of the “Ciudad Deportiva” training facilities in Paterna, the transformation of the club to a Sporting Limited Company and the presence of the Spanish Olympic football team that played their matches in Mestalla.

That season Ricardo Arias, the footballer that had played most seasons and more official matches with Valencia in all its history, retired. The Valencian supporters lost one of the most reliable and classiest footballers of its history, but he was well replaced by another Valencian defender, Paco Camarasa.


The Nineties

A new period for the Mestalla club started in 1992, when it became a Sporting Limited Company. There was a big social commotion during the following five years. After the indisputable success in the economic management led by Arturo Tuzón, the defeat in Karslruhe meant the beginning of the end of his period as president of Valencia.

The 93-94 season started well for Valencia, who soon was first in the league and started the UEFA Cup eliminating the French team Nantes, who had players like Loko, Makelele, Karembeu and Pedros. That summer, Valencia bought Predrag Mijatovic, who became one of the best players of Valencia in that decade, but left the club in a shocking way to rivals Real Madrid. As leader of the league on 2nd November 1993, Valencia played in Germany in the return match of the UEFA Cup second round. In the first match, Hiddink's team won 3-1, so it seemed likely that they would qualiy for the next round. But a large defeat by 7-0 meant for Valencia the worst European defeat in its history. Guus Hiddink was sacked after losing in Gijón the following weekend.

Francisco Real, who up until that moment was member of the technical team of the club, replaced Guus Hiddink. He could raise neither the morale nor the results of the team and after five games was replaced by Héctor Núñez, an Uruguayan forward who had played for Valencia in the sixties. Meanwhile, the board of directors led by Arturo Tuzón started to crack. The resignations and internal scandals caused Tuzón's resignation, who was temporally replaced by Melchor Hoyos. An election process was opened that would bring Francisco Roig to the presidency, after beating the other candidate, Ramón Romero, in the polls. Meanwhile, Lubo Penev, the star of the team, was diagnosed with cancer of the testicles that kept him away from football for a year, but from which he fortunately recovered completely. A very young Gaizka Mendieta started to play his first matches as well, he had signed coming from Castellón and became the big star of Valencia. Another personal tragedy happened in Valencia in September of 1993: the Panamanian forward Rommel Fernández, on loan to Albacete, was killed in a car accident.

On 9th March 1994 Roig was elected president, his first decision, only hours after winning the election, was dismissing Héctor Núñez as coach and appointing Jesús Martínez as technical secretary. While they were deciding who would be the substitute for Núñez, the second coach José Manuel Rielo became main coach. Roig's decision for coach was surprising: Guus Hiddink was again chosen, only five months after his dismissal. Valencia straightened out their path, played better football and got better results at the end of the season.

Francisco Roig took advantage of the World Cup in 1994, which took place in the United States, to hire the person who would become coach of the world champions, the Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira. Other outstanding people that signed up for Valencia were Andoni Zubizarreta, the no.1 goalkeeper of the Spanish national team, and the Russian forward Oleg Salenko, who would end up being the top goalscorer of the World Cup but who did not shine in Valencia as much as he did in the United States. In the 94-95 season, Valencia reached the final of the Kings Cup, having previously dismissed the coach. Parreira was dismissed in the Cup semi-finals, against Albacete, and Rielo was in charge of the team again. In the Cup Final Valencia played Deportivo, on 24th June 1995, the game was postponed due to a heavy downpour with the score at 1-1. They had to play the remaining time three days later, a goal scored by Alfredo prevented Valencia from getting the victory.

The 1995-96 season started with a new coach, the veteran Luis Aragonés who took Valencia to second place in the league within 4 points of the title with a team in which Zubizarreta, Camarasa, Fernando and Mijatovic stood out. Atlético Madrid, who had hired Lubo Penev, were the champions that season along with the King's cup to achieve the league and cup double. ‘Pedja’ Mijatovic the Valencia star at the time, signed for Real Madrid who payed the minimum release clause in his contract, which was met with resentment from the Valencia faithful.

In the summer of 96, Francisco Roig carried out his will of signing Romario. Nevertheless, the brilliant and rebellious Brazilian forward clashed with Aragonés and was sold to Flamengo. His signing coincided with the signing of the Argentinean winger Claudio López, another future idol of the Valencia supporters. The bad results obtained in the league caused the dismissal of the coach from Madrid and he was replaced by Jorge Valdano. The Argentinean coach made his debut in November of 1996 and finished the new season without any titles, having been eliminated from the Cup by Las Palmas and beaten in the UEFA Cup by the German side Schalke 04, who would end up winning the competition. In December of the same year, Valencia signed another South American star, the Argentinean Ariel Ortega.

Valdano started the 97-98 season, but he was dismissed after three matches, after losing to Mallorca, Barcelona and Racing Santander. Jesús Martínez had also been dismissed as technical secretary, position that was now taken up by the Valencian Javier Subirats. Jorge Valdano's substitute was the Italian Claudio Ranieri, who quickly clashed with Romario - who was back from his loan to Flamengo - and Ortega whose form was inconsistent. So much chaos caused the resignation of Francisco Roig as president, Pedro Cortés, vice-president up until that moment, accepted the club management on the 2nd of December of 1997. Valencia was in the relegation zone in the league and also had modest results in the Cup competitions. Valencia finished the league in ninth position, thus getting the right to participate in the Intertoto Cup, a new competition through which it was possible to enter the UEFA Cup competition. The only signing in the middle of the season was the Romanian forward Adrian Ilie, whose first months as a Valencia player were spectacular.

Claudio Ranieri started the 98-99 season with the qualification of Valencia, through the Intertoto, for the UEFA Cup, where they were eliminated by Liverpool. In the league, Valencia finished fourth, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. But the great success of this season happened in the King’s Cup: Valencia won the competition, in the Olympic stadium of Sevilla, by beating Atlético Madrid 3-0 on the 26th of June of 1999, with a great goal by Mendieta and two by ‘Piojo’ López. The euphoria that the Valencia supporters experienced was indescribable, and the well-deserved festivities are still remembered. The heroes of the cup winning team were Cañizares, Angloma, Djukic, Roche, Carboni, Mendieta, Milla, Farinós, Vlaovic, Ilie and Claudio López. Juanfran, Angulo and Björklund also played.

But Ranieri did not continue managing Valencia, the Roman coach had committed himself to Atlético Madrid in the spring of 1999, the same team he had beaten in the Copa del Rey. In order to replace him, the Argentine Héctor Cúper was chosen, who had arrived in Mallorca two seasons before offering an incredible performance for the Balearic club: one Spanish Super Cup, one King’s Cup final and one Cup winners' Cup final. The most notable signing that summer was of the Argentine left winger Kily González.


The Noughties, Valencia returns to the top of Spanish and European football

Valencia started the 1999-2000 season by winning another title, the Spanish Super Cup, beating FC Barcelona. Valencia finished third in the league, behind the champions, Deportivo and level on points with second placed Barcelona. But the biggest success was in the UEFA Champions League, for the first time in its history Valencia reached the European Cup final. Unfortunately, in the final played in Paris, on the 24th of May 2000, Real Madrid beat Valencia 3-0.

It was also Claudio López's farewell, who had agreed to sign for the Italian side Lazio, also leaving was Farinós leaving for Inter and Gerard for Barcelona. The notable signings of that summer were the Uruguayan Diego Alonso, the Norwegian John Carew, Rubén Baraja from Atletico Madrid, the Argentinean Roberto Ayala and the Brazilian left back Fabio Aurelio.

Valencia started the championship on the right foot and were top after 10 games, after the Christmas break Valencia started to pay for the top demand that such an absorbing competition like the Champions League requires. After passing the two mini-league phases, Cúper's team eliminated Arsenal FC in quarter finals and Leeds United in the semi-finals, and got ready to face Bayern Munich in the big final, Valencia had now reached two European Cup finals in a row. This time the final was to be played in Milan and at the San Siro, on the 23rd of May. Gaizka Mendieta gave Valencia the lead by scoring from the penalty spot right at the start of the match, Cañizares then stopped a penalty from Mehmet Scholl, but Stefan Effenberg drew level after the break thanks to another penalty. After extra time, it was a penalty shoot-out to decide who would be European champions Valencia or Bayern Munich. Mauricio Pellegrino was the man who missed to give Bayern european glory and Valencia heartbreak for the second season running in the biggest game in club football. For Valencia it was difficult to recover from the blow in Milan, it culminated in Valencia finishing 5th in La Liga and out of the Champions League for the 2001-2002 season.

The president D. Pedro Cortés left the club in July, who resigned due to personal reasons and left with the satisfaction of having won the King’s Cup, one Spanish Super Cup and two Champions League finals in a row. D. Jaime Ortí replaced him as president, who expressed his intention on keeping the good path that had made the club so admired on the European circuit. There were also some changes in the team and staff, Rafa Benítez, after helping Tenerife to promotion, replaced Héctor Cúper as coach who became the new coach at Inter Milan. Among the footballers, Mendieta, Deschamps, Milla, Zahovic and Gerardo left, and Marchena, Mista, Curro Torres, Rufete, De los Santos and Salva arrived.

From 1999 up until the end of the 2004 season, Valencia had one of the their most successful periods in the clubs history. With a total of 2 La Liga titles, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 Copa del Rey and 1 UEFA Super Cup, in these six years, no less than five first class titles and two UEFA Champions League finals had been achieved.

Despite the emergence of big budgets and the multi millionaire player signings, Valencia has been by far, the best in Spain since the start of the 21st century and one of the best in the world. Superb sports planning, the continuance of a solid team and the team’s confidence and patience in precise moments has made the club, chaired by Jaime Ortí, one of the most highly regarded in football at the time.

It all started in the 2001/02 season, which brought with it a La Liga title, thirty-one years after the last title crown. There were new incorporations to the team, the manager Rafa Benítez and the new players; Marchena, Mista, Curro Torres, Rufete, De los Santos and Salva. The pre-season was full of enthusiasm and the start of the league presented Valencia as one of the candidates for the title. Furthermore, in the first game the true form of the team could be seen.

That first game against fellow title rivals Real Madrid, produced a significant and important victory. This was followed by a record of eleven games won consecutively, breaking the existing one set in the 1970/01 season, the season they had last won the La Liga title under Alfredo Di Stefano.

After a defeat in La Coruña against Deportivo on the 9th December 2001, the team had to win against Espanyol in the Montjuic stadium to prevent falling furthur behind the league leaders. Valencia were 2-0 down at half time, but a spectacular comeback in the second half saw Valencia finally win 3-2 a result that would raise the team’s morale in the quest for the title.

In the second part of the season, Benítez's team suffered a small setback after losing 1-0 in the Santiago Bernabéu to Real Madrid, but they recovered from this setback and achieved four victories and two draws in the following six games. The games against Las Palmas, Athletic de Bilbao, Alavés, Real Zaragoza and above all the superb victory over Barcelona, gave the team enough confidence going into the final ten games of the season.

And in one of these crucial games they would come up against Espanyol, Valencia were trailing 1-0 half-time and a man down too with the dismissal of Carboni, but the team rose to the occasion once again and two goals from Baraja gave Valencia a 2-1 victory. Furthermore, Real Madrid's defeat in Anoeta to Real Sociedad left Valencia with a three-point lead at the top of the table.

The final game of the season was at La Rosaleda to face Malaga, on 5th May 2002, a date that has gone down in Valencia’s history. The team shut itself away in Benal mádena, close to the scene of the game to get away from the incredible euphoria that surrounded the final game of the season. An early goal from Ayala and another close to half-time from Fabio Aurelio, assured them their fifth La Liga title. Thirty-one years after their last title win, Valencia were Spanish champions again.

The 2002-2003 season was a disappointing one for Valencia, they failed in their attempt to retain the La Liga title and ended up outside of the Champions League spots in 5th behind Celta Vigo, they were also knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Champions League by Inter Milan on away goals. However, in the 2003-2004 season Valencia were champions again beating Real Madrid once again to the title. Valencia had now been La Liga champions twice in three seasons.

In the summer of 2004, coach Rafa Benitez decided to leave the club stating he had problems with the club president, he would soon become manager of Liverpool FC. He was replaced by former Valencia coach Claudio Ranieri who had recently been sacked by Chelsea FC. However, his second reign at the club was a disaster, Valencia harboured realistic hopes of retaining their La Liga crown but by February found themselves in 7th place, Valencia had also been knocked out of the Champions League group phase, Ranieri was promptly sacked in February. The 2004-2005 season ended with Valencia outside of the UEFA Cup spots.

In the summer of 2005, Getafe coach Quique Sanchez Flores was appointed as the new man in charge of Valencia, he ended the season with a creditable 3rd place, which in turn gained Valencia a place in the Champions League after a season away from the competition. The 2005/2006 season was a season with many difficulties, a season which started with realistic hopes of challenging for La Liga was disrupted with a huge list of injuries to key players and internal arguments between manager Flores and new Sporting Director, the former captain Amedeo Carboni. Valencia ended the season in 4th place and were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-finals stage by Chelsea 3-2 on aggregate, after knocking out Italian Champions Inter Milan in the second round. In the summer of 2007, the internal fight between Flores and Carboni was settled with Carboni being replaced by Angel Ruiz as the new Sporting Director of Valencia.
 

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Mestalla said:
I've always wondered if we were considered Spain's third best team historically. Atleti and Bilbao have better local success but we have much better European success.

Does anyone know which team is considered Spain's 3rd best team? What's the consensus amongst Spaniards?
Among popularity we're actually 3rd according El Pais so but I doubt it, Valencia isn't that popular in Spain...
Titlewise, It depends on which titles you look after?
European, we're 3rd but in Spanish titles, I think we're 5th.

But on the marathon we're 4th, higher than Atletico and veeeery close passing Athletic so soon 3rd!
 

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Valencia's total of three UEFA Cups is a Spanish record held jointly with rivals Barcelona, and equal to the overall record, shared with four other clubs.

Valencia CF Honours

Domestic

La Liga Champions
Winners (6): 1941-42, 1943-44, 1946-47, 1970-71, 2001-02, 2003-04
Runners-up (6): 1947-48, 1948-49, 1952-53, 1971-72, 1989-90, 1995-96

Copa del Rey
Winners (7): 1940-41, 1948-49, 1953-54, 1966-67, 1978-79, 1998-99, 2007-08

Runners-up (10): 1933-34, 1936-37, 1943-44, 1944-45, 1945-46, 1951-52, 1969-70, 1970-71, 1971-72, 1994-95

Spanish Super Cup
Winners (2): 1949, 1999
Runners-up (4): 1947, 2002, 2004, 2008

Segunda División
Winners (2): 1930-31, 1986-87

European

UEFA Cup
Winners (3): 1961-62, 1962-63, 2003-04
Runners-up (1): 1963-64

UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
Winners (1): 1979-80

UEFA Super Cup
Winners (2): 1980, 2004

UEFA Intertoto Cup
Winners (1): 1998

UEFA Champions League
Runners-up (2): 1999-00, 2000-01.
 

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A poll doesn't say much about popularity, watch the PPV, I don't think that we're the 4th even (Athletic is 3rd there).
Of course the success has brought some more fans than before but, I'm sceptical...
 
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