- * Previous stars: Mario Kempes, Romario, Claudio Lòpez, Gaizka Mendieta
* Current stars: Santiago Cañizares, Fabian Ayala, Pablo Aimar, Vicente, Patrick Kluivert
* Coach: Quique Sanchez Flores
Did you know?:
Rafa Benítez was only in charge at Mestalla for 114 games, but that made him the club's third longest serving coach. The current Liverpool boss won the Spanish league title twice and the Uefa Cup during his short tenure. The bat on the club crest is symbol of the municipality and replaced the heraldic dragon in the 16th century on the Valencian flag. Valencia have enjoyed several golden periods in their history, but the last five years have certainly been the most eventful. Los Ché, meaning 'mates' in the local language, were relative late-comers to the Spanish football scene as they were not officially formed until 1919. Their first era of success came in the 1940's when they clinched the league title three times, but unfortunately, in the early-Franco years the Copa del Rey was seen as a more important tournament to win. Real Madrid legend, Alfredo di Stefano, led the team to championship glory in 1970-71 and this time it really mattered, but a challenge to the big two, Madrid and Barça, failed to materialise. The club had also won two European Fairs' Cups in the 1960's and picked up the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1980 when Graham Rix famously missed the crucial penalty in the shoot-out. Despite all these intermittent successes, Valencia's truly great times are far more recent. Héctor Cúper led them to two consecutive Champions League finals, but they failed to win either, before Rafa Benítez shot to prominence as he secured the club's first championship for 31 years in 2001-02 and then followed that up by clinching an impressive double of the title and the Uefa Cup in 2003-04. With few true greats playing at their prime for the club for the previous 50 years, Valencia's players were suddenly household names with Europe's richest clubs sniffing around with increasing regularity. The current trophy haul was built on a shrewd eye in the transfer market and a willingness to bring in youngsters from their youth ranks. Santiago Cañizares, Roberto Ayala, Carlos Marchena, Ruben Baraja, and Mista all being brought in to combine with home grown talents such as David Albelda, Miguel Angel Angulo and Vicente. The supporters are loyal and vociferous and make the imposing Mestalla a daunting place for away teams to visit.
How to get to the Mestalla:
Number 10 bus from the Plaza de Ayuntamiento opposite the Estacio del Nord (Northern Railway Station) or the number 80 bus from in front of the Estaciòn de Autobuses (Main Bus and coach station). Alight either bus at Avenida de Aragon. The official club website advises that a taxi from either station is also a cheap and quick alternative.