Get to know Dynamo Charities Cup opponent, Valencia CF 101

Learn more about the Dynamo's BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup opponent

HOU_Valencia_Albelda

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of Valencia CF

Official name: Valencia Club de Fútbol

Nicknames: Los Che; Valencianistas

Founded: 1919. The club celebrated its 93rd anniversary on March 18 with a 3-0 win over Athletic Club in Liga BBVA play. Leading scorer Roberto Soldado recorded a hat trick.

Stadium: Estadio Mestalla. Valencia’s home opened in 1923, and has a current seating capcity of 55,000. It is known for its steep terracing and intimidating atmosphere.

History: Valencia is one of the most successful clubs in Spain, having won six league titles, seven Copa del Rey trophies, and reaching seven major European finals, winning four. The club, managed by Spaniard Unai Emery, is competing in the 2011-2012 UEFA Europa League. Valencia has finished among the top four teams in Spain’s first division in four of the last six seasons.

Manager: Unai Emery has managed Valencia since 2008. The 40-year-old Spaniard has led the club to the UEFA Champions League twice in his four seasons at the helm.

Champions League success: Valencia has advanced to Champions League four times in the past six seasons, including reaching the quarterfinals in 2006-07 and 2009-10. Valencia's greatest Champions League success came in the 1999-00 and 2000-01 tournaments when they advanced to the final. In 2000, Valencia lost the final to Real Madrid, 3-0. In 2001, Valencia suffered another heartbreaking defeat, falling to Bayern Munich in the final on penalty kicks. 

Key player: Valencia is led by striker Roberto Soldado, who has scored 25 goals in all competitions this season. The 26-year-old Spanish interntaional is currently fifth on the Liga BBVA scoring chart with 15 goals. Soldado joined Valencia in 2010 after a two-year stint with Getafe. The striker has represented Spain at the U-15, U-17, U-18,  U-19, U-21 and senior levels. He has three caps for the senior national team and scored three goals in a 5-0 friendly win over Venezuela on February 29.

The captain: The captain of the Valencia squad is midfielder David Albelda (pictured above on left). The Spanish international has made more than 400 appearances in all competitions for the Valencianistas. The 34-year-old midfielder has 51 caps for the Spanish national team and was a member of Spain's World Cup teams in 2002 and 2006 as well as the Euro 2004 and 2000 Olympic team which won a silver medal.