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Mestalla

Mestalla

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Estadio Mestalla is a football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 stadium
Stadium
A modern stadium is a place or venue for outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a structure designed to allow spectators to stand or sit and view the event.)Pausanias noted that for about half a century the only event...

 in Valencia
Valencia (city in Spain)
Valencia or València is the capital and most populous city of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third largest city in Spain, with a population of 809,267 in 2010. It is the 15th-most populous municipality in the European Union...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. The stadium is the home ground of Valencia Club de Fútbol
Valencia CF
Valencia Club de Fútbol is a Spanish football club based in Valencia, Spain. They play in La Liga and are one of the most successful and biggest clubs in Spanish Football and European Football. Valencia have won six La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey trophies, two Fairs Cups which was the...

. With a capacity of 55,000 seats, it ranks as the fifth-largest stadium in Spain. It is also renowned for its steep terracing and being one of the most intimidating atmospheres in all of Europe in which to play.

In the near future, the team is expected to move into the Nou Mestalla
Nou Mestalla
Nou Mestalla is a partly built 75,000-seat football stadium in Valencia, Spain, intended as a replacement for Valencia CF's current stadium, Estadio Mestalla. The basic concrete structure of the stadium was built between August 2007 and February 2009, but work was then halted for financial...

, a state-of-the-art stadium with a seating capacity
Seating capacity
Seating capacity refers to the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, both in terms of the physical space available, and in terms of limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats...

 of 75,000, located in Valencia, but due to the Valencia CF's financial crisis, it's unknown when the stadium will be completed.

History


On 20 May 1923, the Estadio Mestalla was inaugurated with a friendly match that brought Valencia CF and Levante UD
Levante UD
Levante Unión Deportiva, S.A.D. is a Spanish football club based in Valencia, in the namesake community.Founded in 1909, it plays in La Liga, holding home games at Estadi Ciutat de València.-Early years:...

 face to face. It was the beginning of a new era that meant farewell to the old place, Algirós, which will always remain in the memories of the Valencian
Valencian
Valencian is the traditional and official name of the Catalan language in the Valencian Community. There are dialectical differences from standard Catalan, and under the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua has been established as its regulator...

s as first home of the club. A long history has taken place on the Mestalla field since its very beginning, when the Valencia team was not yet in the Primera División
La Liga
The Primera División of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional , commonly known as La Liga or, for sponsorship reasons, Liga BBVA since 2008, is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system...

. Back then, this stadium could hold 17,000 spectators, and in that time the club started to show its potential in regional championships, which led the managers of that time to carry out the first alterations of the Mestalla in 1927. The stadium's total capacity increased to 25,000 before it became severely damaged during the Civil War.

Mestalla was used as a concentration camp and junk warehouse. It would only keep its structure, since the rest was a lonely plot of land with no terraces and a stand broken during the war. Once the Valencian pitch
Pitch (sports)
A pitch is an open outdoor area for various activities. It is used in British and Australian English; the comparable term in American English is field...

 was renovated, Mestalla saw how the team managed to bring home their first title, the 1941 Cup. An overwhelming team was playing on the grass of the redesigned Valencian stadium in that decade, a team that conquered three League titles and two Cups with the legendary ‘electric forwards’ of Epi, Amadeo, Mundo, Asensi and Guillermo Gorostiza. Those years of sporting success also served as support to recover little by little the Mestalla ground.

During the decade of the fifties, the Valencia ground experienced the deepest change in its whole history. That project resulted in a stadium with a capacity of 45,500 spectators. It was a dream that was destroyed by the flood
Flood
A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land. The EU Floods directive defines a flood as a temporary covering by water of land not normally covered by water...

 that flooded Valencia in October 1957 after the overflowing of the Turia River
Turia River
The Turia or Túria is a Spanish river which has its source in the Montes Universales, amidst the mountain ranges of the northwesternmost end of the Sistema Ibérico, Teruel province. From its source to roughly the city of Teruel, it is called Guadalaviar river...

. Nevertheless, Mestalla not only returned to normality, but also some more improvements were added, like artificial light, which was inaugurated during the 1959 Fallas festivities. This was the beginning of a new change for the Mestalla.

During the sixties, the stadium kept the same appearance, whilst the urban
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

 view around it was quickly being transformed. Moreover, the Valencian domain became from that moment on, the setting of big European feats. Nottingham Forest was the first foreign team that played an official match in Mestalla with the "Che" club. They played on the 15th of September 1961 and it was the first clash of a golden age full of continental successes, reinforced with the Fairs Cup won in 1962 and 1963. Mestalla had just entered the European competitions as a stadium where the most important events were taking place.

From 1969, the expression Anem a Mestalla (Let's go to Mestalla), so common among the supporters, started to fall into oblivion. The reason was the change of name that meant a big tribute that the club paid to his most symbolic president that lasted for a quarter of a century. Luis Casanova Giner admitted that he was completely overwhelmed by such honour, and the president himself requested in 1994 that his name was again replaced by the name of Mestalla, as it happened. At the beginning of the seventies, the local bench of the back-then-called Luis Casanova stadium was occupied by Alfredo Di Stéfano
Alfredo Di Stéfano
Alfredo Stéfano Di Stéfano Laulhé, born into a family of Italian immigrants from Capri, is a former Argentinian footballer and coach, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time...

, whose results were the winning of one League competition, one second place in the League and two Cup finals lost by the minimum difference. Moreover, Valencia participated for the first time in the European Cup
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

 and made their debut in the UEFA Cup
UEFA Cup
The UEFA Europa League is an annual association football cup competition organised by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. It is the second most prestigious European club football contest after the UEFA Champions League...

. It all was a series of events that made that every match in the stadium located in Suecia Avenue turned into a big party.

In 1972, the head office of the club, located in the back of the numbered terraces, was inaugurated. It consisted of an office of avant-garde
Avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 style with a worth mentioning trophy hall, which held the foundation flag of the club. In the summer of 1973 there was another new thing, the goal seats, which meant the elimination of fourteen rows of standing terraces
Terrace (stadium)
A terrace or terracing in sporting terms refers to the traditional standing area of a sports stadium, particularly in the United Kingdom and Ireland...

 providing more comfort and an adjustment to the new times. Valencia's management started to consider the possibility of moving Mestalla from its present location to some land in the outskirts of the town, but finally the project was turned down some years later.

At that time, Mario Kempes
Mario Kempes
Mario Alberto Kempes Chiodi is a retired Argentine footballer. His father, Mario, also a footballer, inspired him to play from a young age. At the age of 7, he began playing with a junior team and at 14, he joined La Cuarta de Talleres...

 was the best footballer in the world and was playing for Valencia. With the Matador in its team, Valencia won the Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
The Copa del Rey is an annual football cup competition for Spanish football teams. Its full name is Campeonato de España – Copa de Su Majestad el Rey de Fútbol ....

, the Cup Winners Cup and European Super Cup
European Super Cup
The UEFA Super Cup is an annual football game between the reigning champions of the two cup competitions organized by UEFA: the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League...

 in consecutive years. The "Che" team became continental superchampion in the last European final played in Mestalla. It was in 1980 against Nottingham Forest, which oddly enough was the first foreign team that had played an official match in the Valencian stadium.

Mestalla, which in 1925 had held the first match of the Spain national football team
Spain national football team
The Spain national football team represents Spain in international association football and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. The current head coach is Vicente del Bosque...

 in Valencia, was chosen as the perfect setting for the debut of Spain in the 1982 World Cup, although the performance of the combined national team was not finally what was expected. Ten years later, the Olympic team would look for support in the Valencian stadium, this time with a very different result, since the selected young footballers finally got the gold medal in the 1992 Summer Olympics
1992 Summer Olympics
The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, in 1992. The International Olympic Committee voted in 1986 to separate the Summer and Winter Games, which had been held in the same...

 held in Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

.

Mestalla has been the setting for important international matches, has held nine cup
Copa del Rey
The Copa del Rey is an annual football cup competition for Spanish football teams. Its full name is Campeonato de España – Copa de Su Majestad el Rey de Fútbol ....

 finals, has been seat for Levante, home of the Spanish national team and exile for Castellón
CD Castellón
Club Deportivo Castellón, S.A.D. is a Spanish football team based in Castellón de la Plana, in the Valencian Community. Founded in 1922, it currently plays in Tercera División – Group 6, holding home games at Nou Estadi Castalia, which has a capacity of 16,000.-History:Football first appeared in...

 and Real Madrid
Real Madrid
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

 in the European Cup. Mestalla hosted the 2011 Copa del Rey Final
2011 Copa del Rey Final
-Aftermath:Real Madrid players celebrated their victory that evening by riding a double-decker bus through Madrid where they were greeted by cheering crowds. While holding the trophy aloft, Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos dropped the cup in front of the bus, where it was crushed. Ramos later...

 between FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona
Futbol Club Barcelona , also known as Barcelona and familiarly as Barça, is a professional football club, based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain....

 and Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

on 20 April 2011.

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