Enjoy the best football in Valencia
Football occupies a central position in the social lives of the Spanish, and València is no different. Its two main clubs, FC València and Levante UD, attract hordes of fans to their matches. Both clubs play in the First Division of La Liga.
La Liga, the Spanish football league, runs from 20 August to 20 May. If you’d like to attend a match, it’s advisable to check the season’s fixtures in advance, which can be found on the respective club websites.
FC València is the fourth-oldest football club in Spain, and ranks fifth in terms of both national and international titles. The team emblem is a bat, which hangs from the exterior of the Mestalla, the club’s historic stadium, nestled between Avenida de Suecia and Avenida de Arágon. The Mestalla, which opened its doors for the first time in 1923, has a capacity of 49,000, and is renowned for the striking colours of its terraces. On days when there are no training sessions, visitors are invited to experience the Mestalla Forevertour, offering the chance to visit the press room and players’ dressing room, and take a walk down the tunnel onto the pitch. The tour is led by a guide and it lasts for approximately an hour.
Tickets for matches can be purchased on the Internet, at the stadium’s box office, or from the official club shop, situated in Plaza del Ayuntamiento, which has a wide variety of merchandise on sale. If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the players in training, head to Ciudad Deportiva de Paterna.
The Estadi Ciutat de València, in the neighbourhood of Orriols, is the home ground of Levante UD, built next to the site of the old San Miguel de Los Reyes monastery. The stadium has a capacity of over 26,000. It is regarded as the city’s senior club, given that it is the oldest of the two. Tickets to watch the granota (frog) team, as they are commonly known, can be purchased at the club’s offices, at the stadium’s box office two hours before kick-off, or alternatively via the Internet. It is also possible to watch the team in training at the Ciudad Deportiva de Bunyol.
Beyond the two big clubs, València is a football city across the board. It’s commonplace to see adults and children battling it out in gardens and on public pitches. There are also non-professional leagues and school competitions. The bars surrounding the stadiums, in addition to countless other across the city, stream the teams’ matches whilst serving beer and tapas. Bar Manolo el del Bombo, run by an official cheerleader of the team, famous for banging his “bombo” (bass drum) during matches, is just one example of such a place, situated opposite the Mestalla Stadium. Other options include Sportime Café, Aragón 20, Old Trafford and St. Patrick’s.