The History of Levante U.D.

Board to talk about Levante UD in english for foreigners users.

The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor GranotaDean » Sab Feb 05, 2011 4:59 am

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A history to honor. A future to conquer.

The History of Levante Unión Deportiva

The Founding of the Club

Levante Unión Deportiva ("Sporting Union" in Spanish) was founded on September 7th, 1909 as "Levante Fútbol Club", taking their name from the beach "Levante" in Valencia, and was one of the pioneering football clubs in the city. Local rivals Valencia CF did not see the light of day until 1919. Gimnástico Fútbol Club, with whom Levante would be forced to merge with in 1939, was also founded in 1909.

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A picture of the early Levante with legendary black and white striped shirts (Today's away kit)

The team's earliest games were played at La Platjeta, near the docks on a plot of land owned by a perfume entrepreneur. Its next ground was also near the port area, and the club gradually began to become associated with the working class and the port.

In 1928, Levante FC won their first trophy, the Valencian Championship.

In 1934–35, both Levante made their debut in the second division, when the league was expanded from ten teams to twenty-four.
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The Cup of the Spanish Republic

1937 brought the club´s only title, "The Spanish Republic Cup" or The Cup of Free Spain, a trophy from a tournament held during the Spanish Civil War. On 18 July 1937, Levante defeated eternal rivals, Valencia C.F., 1-0 to claim the title.

In 1939, Levante and Gimnastic were forced to merge, as Levante's fields were destroyed during the war and Gimnastic had lost most of its players. The merged-team was from then on known as "Unión Deportiva Levante-Gimnástico" and then later to "Levante Unión Deportiva" (Levante Sporting Union), as the club is officially named today. The club gets their home kit "blue-maroon" bars from the Gimnastic kit and their black and white bars from the Levante past.

The Long Climb to the First Division

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Levante's "Vallejo Field" that would give earn the clubs fans their nickname of granotas

(frogs in Valencian) as the field was located in the Turia river valley and inhabited by many frogs.

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Granota

The war left Levante in shambles. The club had a lot of rebuilding to do. Unfortunately, the club spent the greater part of the next decade in Spain's Third Division before winning promotion in 1946. In that first season back in Second Division, Levante earned a legendary victory against First Division powerhouse Athletic Bilbao. After falling 6-2 in San Mames in Bilbao, all seemed lost, but Levante was able to turn the result winning 4-2 in an epic victory in the Vallejo stadium.

In the stretch of several years in Second Division, the club finished as high as 5th in the 1947-48 campaign. In 1952, the club was relegated yet again to Third Division. However, this time Levante's stay in the Third Division was shortlived as the club was promoted, relegated, and then finally promoted again in 1956, a campaign that would mark a span over a decade long in the 2nd Division.

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Vallejo Field after the Great Flood of 1957 in Valencia

The City of Valencia suffered a devastating and destructive flood in 1957 that destroyed the club's playing grounds. Yet, this tragedy did not slow the club down. In the 1958-59 campaign, Levante missed out on First Division promotion by goal differential in a battle with UD Las Palmas. The disappointment would be turned to ecstasy just a few campaigns later in 1963.

The First Division Years: 1963-1965

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Granotas take to the streets to celebrate the historic promotion

The 1963-1964 campaign was the club's first in the First Division of Spain. The club had defied economic problems and defeated Deportivio La Coruna in the playoff for promotion. The first year amongst Spain's Elite, Levante fought to show it had a place amongst the best clubs in Spain. In its very first season in Primera, Levante earned salvation, avoiding the relegation zone. The Club's 10th place finish (still the highest ever achieved by the club) was brought about thanks to Levante legend Antonio Calpe, a brilliant right-back who later played for Real Madrid and won a European Cup, Pepín, the team's leading goalscorer, Vidal and the Brazilian Wanderley.

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Antonio Calpe. His father played for the Levante team that won the Cup of the Republic, the club's only trophy.


"Catting" Around in the Lower Divisions

A famous saying has long been associated with Levante, which stated that the club would achieve promotion to the First Division "when the cat climbed the palm tree". Valencia, a city well known for both palm trees and cats, inspired the saying as the cats could never figure out how to climb the smooth and tall palm trees. Despite the fact that Levante did manage to defy the saying in 1963, the club would spend the next 40 years in the lesser categories of Spanish football.

Yet these years were still full of sporting successes and important players in the club's history, such as Johan Cruyff. Nonetheless, these years are remembered by Levante loyalists as the years when the club "catted" around in the lower divisions.

The New Millenium: Back in Spain's Top Flight

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Finally in the 2003-04 campaign, after 39 years in the lower divisions of Spanish Football, Levante returned to its rightful place amongst the elite Spanish clubs. Manolo Preciado coached the team to a 1st place finish in Second Division, breaking the club's long stint in the lower divisions.

In 2004-05, the club's first season in First Division since 1964-65, Bernd Schuster coached the team to a terrific start of the season, placing as high as to earn a spot in the UEFA competition. However, the team soon fell off pace and very poor actions on the part of the club's administration, particularly Pedro Villaroel, led to the club's relegation back to Second Division.

However, the "elevator" was working as never before, and Levante again ascended to First Division in the next campaign, 2005-2006. This time after an epic 4-2 home win against eternal, city-rivals Valencia CF, Levante clinched salvation: another year in First Division.

The 2007-2008 campaign was fraught with frustrations. After one of the worst starts in La Liga history, 1 point in the first 10 matches, Levante was mathematically relegated very early on in the season. The players, who included star player Pedro León, had to suffer through not being paid during the campaign, a struggle that led to public reactions by the players against the administration. It was finally time for Pedro Villaroel to be dismissed. However, he would leave the club with a trail of debt, some 80 million euros, a burden that Levante still carries to this day.

The Luís García Years and Centenary Celebrations

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Última edición por GranotaDean el Lun Mar 28, 2011 4:18 am, editado 19 veces en total
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Re: History of Levante U.D.

Notapor frog » Lun Feb 07, 2011 8:11 pm

thanks babamericano , to post this nice "History of levante U.D.".
It is always good to see english speaking people to dig and write in granotas.es
regards
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor campanargranota » Lun Mar 28, 2011 7:54 pm

thank you very much BaBaAmericano for put this post about our Levante UD´s History.
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor Lancastrian » Jue Abr 21, 2011 7:29 pm

It is an excellent work,well done.My congratulations!
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor DaltonMcmickle » Mié May 25, 2011 9:20 am

I am a newbie.

Hope to have loads of fun and learn also share a lot of my experiences .

thanks for your sharing.







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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor GranotaDean » Mié May 25, 2011 5:46 pm

Welcome to the Forum!!! :-D
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor seanes7 » Mié Jun 22, 2011 10:47 pm

Keep up the good work.

Me and a group of friends have started a Lincoln UK supporters group and are hoping to get to Valencia to watch Levante at least twice a season.

So im sure youl be seeing alot more of us on this forum over the years to come!
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor GranotaDean » Jue Jun 23, 2011 2:32 am

WELCOME!!!! :-D
I would be interested to hear more about how you became fans over in the UK.
Also, Levante has a friendly on the 5th of August against Bolton Wanderers, apparently not far from Lincoln. Are you going to the game?
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor seanes7 » Dom Jun 26, 2011 3:38 pm

Yes we will be attending that game.

Well in England we all support different teams so we decided to follow a team we could all support and just from the history, fans and whole basis of Levante UD there was no other team for us!

How did you come to support Levante?
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor GranotaDean » Lun Jun 27, 2011 10:05 pm

How I became a Levante supporter is a longer story that I have written a blog about that I will post here, but in brief: my grandfather was from El Cabanyal the same neighborhood in Valencia where Levante is from. He left Spain after the Civil War and came to the United States. I sort of see supporting Levante as reconnecting with my family history and my roots. More details in my blog coming soon!! It will be in Spanish though.
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor jordclarke14 » Mar Jun 28, 2011 7:04 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm from a place called Lincoln in England and along with a few of my friends, we have decided to start our own Levante Supporters Club! One of my friends has already started posting on this forum i believe. We chose Levante as we wanted to start supporting a team together as we all support different teams from England and we want to plan trips to come and watch the team at least two or three times during the season! Levante was our choice as we praise the team for picking up loans and cheap signings to get to where they are today, especially during the second half of the last la liga season which was excellent. It was also down to the fact we have heard the fans our a very passionate bunch eventhought they are often overshadowed in numbers by rivals! Also, personally i am a big Man City fan and love Caceido! I really hope he stays with Levante and does anyone know the latest on this? Finally, can anyone help us in terms of merchandise? We want to buy shirts to represent the club in and around Lincoln but we have been struggling to get hold of them online as non of us speak Spanish!

Thankyou for the history of Levante U.D!
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor GranotaDean » Mié Jun 29, 2011 6:03 am

Very cool! Welcome! (Y)

Regarding Caicedo. Levante have purchased him and unless a really great offer arrives, he will be with Levante next season. A "great" offer would at least have to be in the 8-10 million euros range from what I have read. So far only one official offer has arrived, from a Russian team. It was for 5 million euros which no one at the club even paid attention to. In large part, Caicedo´s future will depend on how he does at the Copa América this summer, the South American Championships. If his stock rises, Levante cannot afford the luxury of getting to hang on to him, as the club cannot turn down a great offer that would bring such an important sum of money to the club. Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Villarreal are the Spanish clubs reportedly interested in signing Caicedo. Russian teams also are close behind him. Only time will tell!

On the subject of MERCHANDISING: I have been doing my best to pressure the club to create an Online Store. While I was told months ago that the process was underway and that the club was trying to make one, there is no timetable for when the store would be created. I will keep you posted. Also, if you ever want an article translated or have questions, feel free to post them here and I will do my best to handle them. Welcome again!
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor jordclarke14 » Mié Jun 29, 2011 11:27 am

Thanks for your help, wish the website had an english version it would make it alot easier! I kind of hope Caciedo has a poor Copa America so theres more chance he stays!! Bit gutted his involvement probably means he wont feature in the game against bolton which we are hoping to get too!
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor Lancastrian » Dom Jul 10, 2011 12:54 pm

Hi jordclarke14 wellcome to this messageboard.The good news are KiKo Catalan,club president announced a few days ago on a radio interview the on line shop will be up and running in a few weeks before the start of next season.
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor jordclarke14 » Dom Jul 10, 2011 11:44 pm

Thats great news!! Does anyone know anything about getting tickets for the bolton game? and also whats the best email address to contact the club on? thanks for any help you can give.
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor GranotaDean » Lun Jul 11, 2011 2:34 am

admon@levanteud.es is the email address that I would use. Let me know if you need someone to translate a message to Spanish. As far as tickets, I would try contacting Bolton, as I am not even sure if Levante will have tickets on sale, and even if they do they wont be available online :-(

tendagranota@levanteud.es if you wanted to contact the Team Store this is their email.

Once again, if you need any kind of help just contact me here on the board or in a private message.
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor jordclarke14 » Lun Jul 11, 2011 3:37 pm

thanks, would you suggest sending the email in spanish then? yes, i thought we would probably have to go through bolton to get tickets, in terms of home games would we have to wait until we were in valencia to purchase any then? thanks again for your help.
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor GranotaDean » Lun Jul 11, 2011 9:40 pm

jordclarke14 escribió:thanks, would you suggest sending the email in spanish then? yes, i thought we would probably have to go through bolton to get tickets, in terms of home games would we have to wait until we were in valencia to purchase any then? thanks again for your help.


You could try sending it in English. I´m sure the club has to have somebody up in the offices who studied english. If that doesn´t work, I´m happy to translate for you. For home games, you can get tickets once in the city through various ticketing boutiques around the city and at the stadium of course. Lately they have not been selling out, so you shouldn´t have too much trouble getting tickets.
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor jordclarke14 » Lun Jul 11, 2011 10:11 pm

Thanks alot for your help, you will probably get a pm from me soon! :-)
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Re: The History of Levante U.D.

Notapor Lancastrian » Lun Jul 25, 2011 10:50 pm

5 seasons ago it was possible to buy on the club web tickets on line.Another thing to complain about to the club president my friends.
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