Mestalla Stadium, located in the heart of Valencia, Spain, proudly stands as the home ground for the renowned Valencia Club de Fútbol. Inaugurated on May 20, 1923, with a friendly match between Valencia CF and Levante UD, this iconic stadium has since witnessed some of the most memorable moments in Spanish football history. Initially, accommodating a capacity of 17,000 spectators, Mestalla underwent expansions, increasing its capacity to 25,000 within just four years.
Throughout its existence, Mestalla has evolved and adapted to the changing times. For instance, during the Civil War, the stadium served as a concentration camp and storage warehouse. Today, Mestalla continues to hold a special place in the hearts of fans and players alike, attracting thousands of visitors who flock to experience the mesmerizing matches, as well as the unique stadium tours.
Undoubtedly, Mestalla stands tall as a symbol of Valencia CF’s history, passion, and commitment to the sport. As football enthusiasts from around the world come together to appreciate the beautiful game and the iconic Mestalla, it serves as a testament to Valencia CF’s undeniable influence on world football.
History of Mestalla: Home of Valencia CF
The Mestalla stadium, home to Valencia CF, first opened its doors on May 20, 1923. The inaugural match was held between Valencia and their local rivals, Levante UD. With an initial capacity of 17,000, Estadio de Mestalla replaced Valencia’s first home, Algirós, which lacked the necessary facilities to support the team’s growth1.
Highlights Through the Decades
Over the years, Mestalla has hosted numerous memorable events:
- In 1925, the stadium held the Spain national football team for the first time2.
- During the 1982 World Cup, Mestalla was chosen as the venue for the national team’s group stage matches2.
- In the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics, Spain’s team played all their matches up to the final at Mestalla, ultimately winning the gold medal2.
Moreover, the stadium has seen the development of Valencia CF’s reserve team, Valencia Mestalla3, contributing to the growth and success of the football club.
The architecture of the Mestalla Stadium is characterized by its steep stands, which provide an intimate and intense atmosphere for fans during matches. The stadium has undergone multiple renovations and expansions since its inauguration in 1923, adapting to the needs and demands of modern football.
Mestalla Stadium has a capacity of 55,000 spectators, having experienced several expansions from its initial 17,000 capacity at the time of inauguration. Today, it hosts Valencia CF’s home games and is known for providing an electric atmosphere and proximity between the supporters and the players.
Mestalla boasts a wide variety of facilities for its visitors, including:
- Modern and spacious seating for the spectators’ comfort
- A top-tier press box for journalists
- VIP boxes and lounges offering exclusive views of the pitch
- An extensive merchandising shop for Valencia CF fans
- Numerous food and beverage outlets throughout the stadium
The Mestalla is also designed to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities, ensuring that all fans can experience the excitement of Valencia CF matches. Plans for the Nuevo Mestalla, the future home of Valencia CF, include even more advanced facilities, aiming to provide an unforgettable experience for all spectators.
Impact on Valencia CF
Home Ground Advantage
Mestalla Stadium, the current home of Valencia CF, provides a distinct home ground advantage for the team. The atmosphere in the stadium is known to be electrifying, with passionate fans ensuring that visiting teams feel the pressure.
The stadium’s design, with steep stands creating a sense of closeness, amplifies the sound and excitement during matches. This contributes to Valencia CF’s strong performance and has played a crucial role in their historical successes.
Throughout its history, Mestalla has hosted several notable matches that have left an indelible mark on Valencia CF and its fans.
Inauguration day: On May 20, 1923, Mestalla had its inaugural match between Valencia CF and Levante UD, setting the stage for the legendary status of the stadium in Spanish football.
European triumph: In the 1999/2000 season, Valencia CF had a remarkable run in the UEFA Champions League, reaching the final for the first time in their history. Mestalla was the stage for numerous memorable moments during this campaign, showcasing the team’s talent on the European stage.
Copa del Rey finals: Mestalla has hosted numerous Copa del Rey finals, with Valencia CF emerging victorious in 1967, 1979, and 1999. These victories have solidified the club’s status as one of the top teams in Spanish football.
Valencia CF has been home to numerous talented footballers throughout its history. Some of the most renowned players who have donned the Valencia shirt at Mestalla Stadium include David Villa, Gaizka Mendieta, and Mario Kempes.
David Villa is a Spanish striker who played for Valencia CF between 2005 and 2010. During his time at the club, Villa scored an impressive 107 goals in 166 appearances. He won the Copa del Rey in 2008 and was a key figure in Valencia’s Champions League campaigns. Villa went on to have successful stints at clubs like Barcelona and New York City FC, and he remains Spain’s all-time top goalscorer.
Gaizka Mendieta was a versatile midfielder who spent six years at Valencia CF, from 1993 to 2001. Mendieta was an instrumental figure in the team, helping them achieve several domestic and European successes. During his tenure, Valencia won the Copa del Rey in 1999, reached the Champions League final in 2000, and secured a second-place finish in La Liga in the 1999-2000 season. Mendieta was awarded the UEFA Best Midfielder award two years in a row (2000 and 2001).
Mario Kempes is an Argentinian striker who featured for Valencia CF from 1976 to 1981. Kempes made a significant impact on the club during his time and is considered a Valencia CF Legend. He scored a total of 116 goals in 184 appearances for Valencia, helping them win the Copa del Rey in 1979 and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1980. Kempes was also the top goalscorer of the 1978 World Cup, where he led Argentina to victory and earned the Golden Boot.
These three players are just a few examples of the exceptional talent that has graced Mestalla Stadium. Valencia CF’s rich history and passionate fan base continue to attract high-caliber players from around the world.
The Future of Mestalla
Valencia CF has plans to renovate their current stadium, Mestalla, and are working on constructing a new stadium called Nou Mestalla. The basic concrete structure of the Nou Mestalla was built between August 2007 and February 2009, but work was halted due to financial reasons.
The club recently unveiled updated renderings for the new stadium, showing a sleek, modern design. The future Nou Mestalla is planned to have a capacity of 49,000, with the possibility of accommodating up to 70,000 spectators if needed. This expansion capability ensures that the stadium will be able to host larger events and remain viable for years to come.
However, it is unclear when or if the construction of the new stadium will resume, as Valencia CF continues to use the current Mestalla as their home field.
Mestalla Stadium has been an iconic ground for Valencia CF and its rich history will always remain a significant part of the club. It has hosted the Spain national football team and various important matches throughout the years.
As the club moves forward with the plans for the Nou Mestalla, they aim to keep that legacy alive by creating a state-of-the-art stadium that meets modern standards for comfort and safety, while also being a showcase for the team’s achievements. To achieve this, Valencia CF has presented a €115 million project aimed at completing the construction of the new stadium, representing a significant investment in their future.
The successful realization of the Nou Mestalla project will establish a new chapter in the club’s history, creating a valuable asset for the city and local community, while honoring the cherished legacy of the original Mestalla Stadium.
James is a big time NBA Golden State follower, who makes sure to catch games when he's in the area. He likes to follow International Soccer, with an interest in small town soccer club, Blackburn Rovers located in the North on the UK.