Valencia Club de Fútbol Valencia Club de Fútbol
Camp de Mestalla

History

The Mestalla pitch is the setting where most of the history of Valencia Club de Fútbol has taken place. The big house of Valencianism was baptised with the name of one of the irrigation channels that water the crop-growing region around the town, a name that today evokes great sporting events, important shows of all kinds and, above all, excellent football evenings. Numerous generations of Valencian people have passed through Mestalla, all of them joined by a common feeling, the love to the Valencian colours. On the 20th of May of 1923 the Mestalla pitch was inaugurated with a friendly match that brought Valencia and Levante face to face. It was the beginning of a new era that meant the good-bye to the old place, Algirós, which will always remain in the memories of the Valencian as first home of the club. /system/modules/es.valenciacf.estadio/elements/History 2 A long history has treaded on the Mestalla field since its very beginning, when the Valencia team was not yet in the First Division. 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 Mestalla in 1927. Its total capacity increased to 25.000 seats before it became one of the most damaged stadiums by the Civil War. Mestalla was used as 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 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, team that conquered three League titles and two Cups with the legendary ‘electric forwards’ of Epi, Amadeo, Mundo, Asensi and Gorostiza. Those years of sporting success also served as support to recover little by little the Mestalla ground. /system/modules/es.valenciacf.estadio/elements/History 3 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 that flooded Valencia in October of 1957 after the overflowing of the river Turia. 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. During the sixties, the stadium kept the same appearance, whilst the urban 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 of 1961 and it was the first clash of a golden age full of continental successes, reinforced with the Fairs Cups won in 1962 and 1963. Mestalla had just entered the European competitions as a stadium where the most important events were taking place. /system/modules/es.valenciacf.estadio/elements/_datosEstadioHistoria.html 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, 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 and made their debut in the UEFA Cup. 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 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 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 and some years later, in 1978, Mestalla was redesigned with a view to the World Championships in 1982. /system/modules/es.valenciacf.estadio/elements/_datosEstadioHistoria.html Mestalla, which in 1925 had held the first match of the Spanish team in Valencia, was chosen as the perfect setting for the debut of Spain in the World Championships of 1982, 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 Olympic Games of Barcelona'92. Mestalla has been the setting for important international matches, has held several Cup finals, has been seat for Levante UD, home of the Spanish team and exile for Castellón and Real Madrid in the European Cup; it has seen important footballers like Kempes, Maradona or Pelé himself running on its grass and above all, it has lived the most important feats of Valencia Club de Fútbol. The historic Mestalla stadium, after several projects that shall surround the new stadium, shall hold around 55.000 supporters and which, above all, will continue being home for all the Valencian people until the new stadium construction in the Avenida de las Cortes Valencianas.

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