With a hundred years of history, we knew that we could not just stop at one article. (Here’s part one in case you missed the memo.) Read on for another round of interesting facts on Valencia CF that you may not know about!
The Hundredth Candle
In 2019, Valencia CF celebrated its 100th birthday. To think it all started with a coin flip!
The club celebrated with a limited-edition look, merchandise, videos and articles. But the highlight to us was an app that not only details the club’s extensive history, but also offers interactive 360º views of Mestalla itself! All of this for free, music to the ears of people like us who are too broke to fly there. The app, “Centenari – Valencia CF”, is still available on the Play Store and the App Store, so do check it out.
The city also celebrated the anniversary with them! It awarded the club the ‘Medalla de Oro’ (‘Gold Medal’), for their perseverance and for providing the city with an unmistakable identity. And for their contribution to the local tourism industry, the club received another award, the ‘Premio Especial 2019’. Both awards took into consideration the club’s history and how it has thrusted the city onto the world stage over the years.
Even the King of Spain personally went down to Mestalla to collect his own Valencia jersey – number 100! He also received shirts for his daughters.
Guess the club is trying to convert them while they are young.
On the anniversary day itself (18 March), 8,000 people formed a sea of orange and black, parading through the streets. It was a sight to behold.
The Devout Cult of Ches
Speaking of fans, did you know that an elderly fan turned up for every home match for 23 years? This was despite losing his eyesight at the age of 54! Such is the story of Vicente Aparicio, who always sat in the same seat at Mestalla, renewing his season pass annually without fail.
Even though he died in 2017, he is still sitting there to this date…
Don’t worry, the stadium is not haunted. The truth is that the club has decided to immortalise him in the form of a life-size statue, taking the place of his favourite seat.
With loyal fans like Aparicio, it is no surprise that a total of 49,069 fans were in Mestalla to watch the match against Atlético Madrid last year. To put this into perspective, the stadium only has capacity for 52,600 people. We wouldn’t want to know how it felt to be the 3,531 non-Valencia fans sitting there.
Additionally, during a derby between VCF Femenino (the club’s womens’ team that is turning 10 this year) and Levante UD Femenino, 9,435 fans turned up. Not bad when you consider that the 2012 Olympics only managed to occupy 70,584 seats, which is the current record.
By March 2019, over a million fans had stepped foot into Mestalla that year.
The club is also 47th in ranking when it comes to social media followers as a football club (based on a study by Digital Sports Media), extraordinary when you consider the 206 competitors fighting for attention.
We’ll need your help to further bump those numbers up!
The Next Generation
Did you know that key talents in the club, such as Ferran Torres and Lee Kang-in were trained in the club’s youth academy? The pair have also been nominated for the Golden Boy award this year, which is given to prestigious players (the likes of Messi and Mbappe) under the age of 21. It’s quite unheard of for two players from the same club to be selected together!
VCF Academy is known to be one of the best, with aims to nurture the next wave of football talent. This year, they have managed to attract over 200 children who signed up for the Summer Campus season, in countries as far as China and India, totalling 19 different countries.
Going Beyond Football
Football isn’t just about the sport. It’s about the people and the community, and the important causes that we all need to think about.
When we met Atlético Madrid last year, you may have noticed some curious pink armbands. These armbands are part of the club’s efforts to commemorate International Day Against Breast Cancer. The club was also seen training in bright pink shirts as well.
It’s not just a fashion show though. The club, through VCF Foundation, has helped raise funds and awareness through three separate focuses — culture and roots, social and charitable responsibility, and education and health.
Beyond breast cancer, the organisation has several other initiatives, including organising friendly matches for children with mental disabilities and operating the VCF museum.
It might come as a surprise for you but Valencia CF also hosts lessons for people taking theirs Masters in International Sport Management! The course has been cited to be the best in several years by established publication Sports Business. It attracts students from over 20 countries across the globe.
So it’s suffice to say that Valencia CF plays beyond the ball.
What else would you like to know about the club? Let us know!