Few could predict that in 1923 that room with the capacity to 17.000 people created to replace the old Algirós field would be 91 years later one of the emblems of the Liga BBVA and also of Europe. But yes, Mestalla, For the good and for the bad it is a benchmark of Spanish and world football. A stadium with a lot of history, with present and who knows if also with future.
Endowed today with 54.000 seating, the Valencian fiefdom is submerged in the heart of Valencia, standing out in one of the main avenues of the city. Its already dilapidated facilities recall the need to change the venue as soon as possible, preferably to that stadium called Nuevo Mestalla that sooner or later must succeed.
Mestalla or Luis Casanova (what was called between 1969 Y 1994) has never hosted single-match European finals and can hardly boast in European club competition of having witnessed the finals of Fairs Cups and the European Super Cup. But nevertheless, that handicap does not invalidate him to be considered a soccer sanctuary, because a lot has happened on his lawn. Between them, the dispute of ten Copa del Rey finals (the last between Real Madrid and Barcelona), the dispute of two Champions semifinals and above all, the reception of the matches of Spain in the World Cup 1982 and the Barcelona Olympic Games 1992.
And it is that Spain has always had a perfect ally in Valencia and Mestalla. In his field he has disputed 31 matches being the third venue that has seen her play the most times. That environment close to the players, That stands that does not stop encouraging are an easy prey so that everyone wants to play at the Valencian coliseum.
If someone looks at the history books, they may see that Mestalla is a perfect indicator of the health of Spanish football.. Of those modest little facilities, to that remodeling for Spain 1982 which expanded the field until it reached an increase in capacity and greater comfort.
Listed stadium of 4 stars by UEFA, the Valencian public has been lucky enough to see Kempes on their grass, Mitjatovic, World, Mendieta, Piojo Lopez, Villa or Soldier. Spectacular footballers who dazzled a demanding fans but who know when to support their players.
It is difficult to stay with a moment to remember in Mestalla, because there have been many. In your facilities, Valencia beat the great Lazio by 5-2 in the year 2000, one round before landing in the semifinals at Barcelona after a 4-1 in Valencia. In your facilities, Nottingham Forest succumbed in the European Super Cup. And is that 91 years go a long way, as much as to have the honor of being the oldest of the First Division.
The New Mestalla, when?
Despite its enormous trajectory, the truth is that Mestalla is rushing its last years in activity. In 2007, the construction of a new enclosure that will replace it. A stadium with capacity for 75.000 people who should have opened the doors by now, but the one that the economic crisis has hit paralyzing without knowing the day when it will be over.
An unknown difficult to solve but that does not obscure what is a reality. Mestalla is the pure and living history of Spanish football.