Valencia CF vs Eibar

Abr, 29 / 18:30 Jornada 35

Actualidad del Valencia C.F.
Junio, 29 2016

75 years since Valencia CF’s ‘delantera eléctrica’ took Spanish football by storm

The 1940s was one of the most successful in the history of Valencia CF led by the ‘delantera eléctrica’ and it began with their first cup triumph that took place 75 years ago, on June 29th, 1941.

Valencia was established in 1919 and although it had a strong regional presence it started in the second division of the inaugural 1929 La Liga.

They won promotion to the top flight in 1931 and gradually consolidated themselves but it was another decade before they really took Spanish football by storm and the legend of the delantera electrica, the electric attack, was born.

Epifanio Fernández Berridi ‘Epi’, Amadeo, Mundo, Asensi, Gorostiza were the formidable forwards who helped Valencia to win the Generalissimo Cup in 1941.

They beat Español 3-1 in the final at Chamartín in Madrid  with Mundo hitting a brace and the other goal coming from Asensi, while Teruel got the consolation for Espanyol from the penalty spot.

They had overcome a difficult route to the final by beating Athletic Bilbao, Sevilla and Celta Vigo along the way, with an 8-1 thrashing of Sevilla in the quarter-finals, which included hat-tricks for Mundo and Gorostiza, showing how lethal they were in attack

Returning to Valencia the team was met by a vast crowd of fans and the players showed off the trophy in front of the Town Hall.

Valencia hadn’t started the season well and there was little to suggest they were on the verge of a golden era.

The stadium was still being repaired after the civil war but the team had reinforced well with the signings of Ignacio Eizaguirre and Epi, both from Real Sociedad, and Gorostiza, from Athletic Bilbao, who was known as the ‘Bala Roja’, the red bullet.

They turned the season around and went on a run that included them picking up 17 points from a possible 22 on the way to finishing the league in third place, four points behind Athletic Bilbao and six off the champions Atletico de Aviación.

It was the dawn of a new era for Valencia who went on to win a further cup and three La Liga titles during the 1940s.

“Obviously I didn’t see them play but I knew about them when I was growing up as they were legends,” said former-Valencia defender Ricardo Arias, who played for the club over a 16 years from 1976 until 1992.

“I had heard of many of the players, people like Mundo were iconic figures of the period, a top scorer for several years. I then got to know many of those players personally and what sticks in my memory about them was how humble they were. That was a period when football wasn’t as professional or global. There were no summer tours or anything like that and players had to travel by bus normally.”

Arias was a member of Valencia’s fifth cup winning side that was led by the inspirational Mario Kempes and he can imagine what the mood would have been like back in 1941.

“I was young when we won it and the reception at the stadium was one of the best that I have received in my life,” he said.

“It was something that I had never experienced before, it was very special. The Valencia fans were very passionate and it came a number of years since winning the previous trophy as well. I am from the centre of Valencia and so it was particularly special for me.

“What I remember in particular was that it wasn’t just football fans that were celebrating but other people as well and it showed what Valencia means to the community.”

While for Arias, Kempes was the best Valencia player of all time, he feels that Mundo is not far behind.

“They were both top scorers during their periods. Football though had progressed by the time of Mario and was more international,” said Arias.

“For his ability and personality there has been no better player than Kempes at Valencia, he was the best, but Mundo was a great player also.

“The team in the 1940s was one of the best ever that can be compared with any of the others since.”

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