On the occasion of Valentine’s Day, we look at some of Valencia CF's matches made on the pitch
The two Spaniards enjoyed longevity at Mestalla, starting out as bit-part players at the club and becoming part of Valencia CF’s golden era. Progressing side-by-side and developing as players as inseparable parts of the team, David Albelda and Rubén Baraja also put in performances for the national side that set the bar high.
Baraja joined from Atletico Madrid ahead of the 2000/01 season and lifted two LaLiga trophies, one Copa del Rey, one UEFA Cup and one European Super Cup for the club.
Albelda’s trophy cabinet has a similar array of medals: Twice winner of the Spanish league, a regular in the Copa del Rey, UEFA Cup, and European Super Cup-winning side and, as a consequence, part of the illustrious 2004 team chosen as 'The Best Club in the World.'The pair shone individually and as a duo in the midfield, and their performances together were an essential part of some of Valencia CF's most unforgettable moments.
Roberto Fabián Ayala formed a rock-solid partnership in the VCF backline with Mauricio Pellegrino, and they went on to win two LaLiga titles, a UEFA Cup and a European Super Cup under Rafa Benítez.
Ayala had an uncanny ability to read the game and anticipate the opposition's movement. Another of his virtues was his charisma and leadership skills. He became the team’s captain and was one of those players who gave his all on the pitch and was the embodiment of the club's pride and determination.
He played a stunning 24,000 minutes for the club and was an integral part of the two league double-winning sides, also winning the UEFA Cup and the European Cup Winners Cup. He made a vital contribution to the club’s most glorious period and took part in the side widely-recognised as the best Valencia CF team of all time.
Mauricio Pellegrino was a disciplined centre-back with great aerial prowess, who provided an ideal counterbalance to his fellow Argentine's qualities.
David Villa and David Silva, 'El Guaje' and 'El Mago,' are two of Valencia CF's most famous players of recent times, and regarded as two of the greatest of all time. The pair played alongside one another at Mestalla from 2006/07, when Silva returned from loan spells at Eibar and Celta Vigo (Villa had joined from Real Zaragoza the previous season) and formed one of the slickest attacking alliances LaLiga has ever seen. Silva was the master playmaker, and Villa provided the goals as well as being the league's top assist provider in their first campaign together.
With Valencia CF, they won the 2008 Copa del Rey, and their success carried over to the national team, with which they lifted the 2008 European Championship and the 2010 World Cup. The alliance lasted until the summer of 2010.
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