Levante UD

Full name Levante Unión Deportiva, S.A.D.
Nickname(s) Les Granotes (The Frogs)
Founded 9 September 1909 (1909-09-09)
Ground Ciutat de València, Valencia,
Valencia, Spain
Ground Capacity 26,354
President Quico Catalán
Head coach Juan Ramón López Muñiz
League Segunda División
2015–16 La Liga, 20th (relegated)
Website Club home page

Levante Unión Deportiva, S.A.D. (Spanish: [leˈβante uˈnjon deporˈtiβa], Valencian: Llevant Unió Esportiva [ʎeˈvant uniˈo espoɾˈtiva]) is a Spanish football club based in Valencia, in the namesake community.

Founded on 9 September 1909, it plays in Segunda División, holding home games at Ciutat de València.


Early years

Levante UD was originally founded in 1909 as Levante Fútbol Club, taking their name from the "Levante" beach in La Malvarrosa, and was one of the pioneering football clubs in Valencia. Local rivals Valencia CF were not formed until 1919; however, another club, Cabanyal FC, had been playing in the city since 1903.

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. In 1919 the side played Valencia for the first time, losing 0–1 – the game marked the inauguration of the recently formed new ground at Algirós; in 1928 Levante FC won their first trophy, the Valencian Championship.

1909 also saw the birth of Gimnástico Fútbol Club, who originally played at Patronato de la Juventud Obrera, being then named Universitario Fútbol Club. By 1920, the team had become Real Gimnástico Club de Fútbol, after being granted royal patronage by Alfonso XIII. In 1920 Gimnástico also reached the final of the Campeonato de Valencia, but the game was never played; in 1930, with the emergence of the Second Spanish Republic, they dropped the Real from their name.

In 1934–35 both Levante and Gimnástico made their debut in the second division, when the league was expanded from ten teams to twenty-four. In 1935 the former won the Campeonato Levante-Sur, a competition that featured teams from Valencia, Murcia and Andalusia,[1] and subsequently reached the semi-finals of the Spanish Cup, consecutively beating Valencia and FC Barcelona before losing to eventual runners-up CE Sabadell FC.

Copa de la España Libre

During the Spanish Civil War Levante and Gimnástico played in the Mediterranean League, finishing fifth and sixth respectively – teams from this league also competed in the Copa de la España Libre (Free Spain Cup). It was originally intended that the top four teams from the league would enter the cup, but Barcelona opted to tour Mexico and the United States and, as a result, Levante took its place.

The first round of the competition was a mini-league with the top two teams, Levante and Valencia, qualifying for the final. On 18 July 1937, Levante defeated their city rivals 1–0 at the Montjuïc.[2]

The merger

During the civil war Levante's ground was destroyed, but the club's squad remained intact. In contrast Gimnástico had a ground, Estadio de Vallejo, but had lost most of their players.

As a result, the two clubs merged in 1939 to become Unión Deportiva Levante-Gimnástico, changing two years later to Levante Unión Deportiva, which club colours in the 2000s also dating from this era (the blaugrana home colours were originally those of Gimnástico, whilst the black and white away kit, was also used by Levante FC in the beginning).

La Liga

Before a game in March 2013

Levante had to wait until the 1960s to make their La Liga debut. In 1963 the club finished runner-up in Group 2 of the second division, beating Deportivo de La Coruña 4–2 on aggregate in the promotion play-offs. During the first top flight season it managed to win both games against Valencia, managing a 5–1 home win against Barcelona in the 1964–65 campaign but being relegated nonetheless after losing in the playoffs against CD Málaga, and spent most of the following two decades in the second and third divisionsSegunda División B would not be created until 1977; in the early 1980s, Dutch superstar Johan Cruyff played half a season for the club, retiring three years later.

After winning 2003–04's second division Levante returned to the top level, but survived only one season. Finishing third in 2005–06 it returned for two additional campaigns, the decisive match in the 2006–07 season being a 4–2 home win against Valencia courtesy of Riga Mustapha (two goals), Salva and Laurent Courtois.

Levante's financial status worsened, however, and there were reports that the players had only received approximately one fifth of their contractual payments – news reports stated that the club had incurred a debt of over 18 million in payments due their players. The team plummeted down the standings, and it was confirmed that they would be playing in the second division in 2008–09, with several matches to go; the players protested at their lack of payments at one point, refusing to move for several seconds after the opening whistle against Deportivo, and later announcing that they would issue a job action during the season-ending game at Real Madrid.

The action was resolved when league officials announced that a benefit game would be played between Levante team members, and a team made up of players from the first division, with all benefits going to pay the wages due to the players.

On 13 June 2010 Levante returned to the first division, after a 3–1 home win against already relegated CD Castellón. It lost in the final round 0–4 at Real Betis, but its opponents only managed to finish with the same points as fourth.[3]

Deportivo de La Coruña vs. Levante UD.

Under the manager who led the team back to the top flight, Luis García Plaza, Levante finally retained its division status in the 2010–11 season. During one point of the league's second round of matches it was the third team with most points, only behind Barcelona and Real Madrid and losing just once in 12 games, precisely against the latter team.[4]

On 26 October 2011, during round nine of the season, Levante defeated Real Sociedad 3–2 to move top of the table on 23 points.[5] It was the first time in the club's history it reached the highest ranking in the top division – in the process, they recorded seven straight wins after drawing the first two games;[6] the club eventually finished in sixth position after defeating Athletic Bilbao 3–0 at home in the last match, thus qualifying for the UEFA Europa League for the first time in its history.[7]


Recent history

Season Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Cup Notes
2004–05 1D 18th 3891019 395837 Relegated
2005–06 2D 3rd 4220148 533974 1st round Promoted
2006–07 1D 15th 38101216 375342 Last 16
2007–08 1D 20th 387526 337526 Last 16 Relegated
2008–09 2D 8th 42181014 595964
2009–10 2D 3rd 4219149 634571 Promoted
2010–11 1D 14th 3812917 415245 Last 16
2011–12 1D 6th 3816715 545055 Quarter Finals Qualified to UEFA Europa League
2012–13 1D 11th 38121016 405746 Last 16 Last 16 UEFA Europa League
2013–14 1D 10th 38121214 354348 Quarter Finals
2014–15 1D 14th 3891019 346737 Last 16
2015–16 1D 20th 367821 346629 1st round Relegated

European record

Season Competition Round Opposition Home Away Aggregate
2012–13 UEFA Europa League Play-off round Scotland Motherwell 1–0 2–0 3–0
Group L Netherlands Twente 3–0 0–0 2nd
Germany Hannover 96 2–2 1–2
Sweden Helsingborg 1–0 3–1
Round of 32 Greece Olympiacos 3–0 1–0 4–0
Round of 16 Russia Rubin Kazan 0–0 0–2 (aet) 0–2

Season to season

Season Division Place Copa del Rey
  • As Gimnástico FC
1909/10 No Record -
1910-18 No Record -
1918/19 1st 1st -
1919/20 1st runner-up -
1920/21 1st 1st -
1921/22 1st 2nd -
1922/23 1st 2nd -
1923/24 1st 1st -
1924/25 1st 2nd -
1925/26 1st 3rd -
1926/27 1st 4th -
1927/28 1st 4th -
1928/29 4th 3rd -
1929/30 3rd 3rd -
1930/31 3rd 5th -
1931/32 3rd 3rd -
1932/33 3rd 3rd -
1933/34 3rd 3rd -
1934/35 2nd 6th 5th round
1935/36 2nd 4th group round
1937 1st 6th -
Season Division Place Copa del Rey
  • As Levante FC
1909/10 1st 4th -
1910-18 No Record -
1918/19 No Record -
1919/20 1st group -
1920/21 1st 4th -
1921/22 1st 4th -
1922/23 1st 4th -
1923/24 1st 3rd -
1924/25 1st 3rd -
1925/26 1st 2nd group round
1926/27 1st 3rd -
1927/28 1st 1st group round
1928/29 4th 4th -
1929/30 3rd 2nd -
1930/31 3rd 6th -
1931/32 3rd 1st -
1932/33 3rd 4th Round of 32
1933/34 3rd 5th Round of 32
1934/35 2nd 3rd Semifinals
1935/36 2nd 3rd 2nd round
1937 1st 5th Winner
Season Division Place Copa del Rey
  • As Levante UD
1939/40 2nd 1st 1st round
1940/41 2nd 3rd Quarter-finals
1941/42 2nd 8th 1st round
1942/43 Regional 1st 1st round
1943/44 3rd 1st -
1944/45 3rd 2nd -
1945/46 3rd 1st -
1946/47 2nd 6th Round of 16
1947/48 2nd 5th 5th round
1948/49 2nd 9th 4th round
1949/50 2nd 13th 3rd round
1950/51 2nd 13th -
1951/52 2nd 14th -
1952/53 3rd 2nd -
1953/54 3rd 1st -
1954/55 2nd 15th -
1955/56 3rd 1st -
1956/57 2nd 11th -
Season Division Place Copa del Rey
1957/58 2nd 4th -
1958/59 2nd 2nd Round of 32
1959/60 2nd 6th 1st round
1960/61 2nd 6th 1st round
1961/62 2nd 6th 1st round
1962/63 2nd 2nd Round of 16
1963/64 1st 10th Round of 32
1964/65 1st 14th Round of 16
1965/66 2nd 5th 1st round
1966/67 2nd 4th Round of 32
1967/68 2nd 14th 1st round
1968/69 3rd 3rd -
1969/70 3rd 4th 3rd round
1970/71 3rd 12th 1st round
1971/72 3rd 6th 2nd round
1972/73 3rd 1st 3rd round
1973/74 2nd 19th 5th round
1974/75 3rd 2nd 4th round
1975/76 3rd 1st 1st round
1976/77 2nd 18th 2nd round
Season Division Place Copa del Rey
1977/78 2ndB 4th 3rd round
1978/79 2ndB 1st 2nd round
1979/80 2nd 10th 3rd round
1980/81 2nd 9th Round of 16
1981/82 2nd 19th 3rd round
1982/83 3rd 2nd 2nd round
1983/84 3rd 2nd 2nd round
1984/85 2ndB 11th 2nd round
1985/86 2ndB 10th -
1986/87 3rd 2nd -
1987/88 2ndB 6th 3rd round
1988/89 2ndB 1st 2nd round
1989/90 2nd 15th 1st round
1990/91 2nd 19th 3rd round
1991/92 2ndB 11th 3rd round
1992/93 2ndB 9th 2nd round
1993/94 2ndB 3rd 3rd round
1994/95 2ndB 1st 1st round
1995/96 2ndB 1st 3rd round
1996/97 2nd 9th 2nd round
Season Division Place Copa del Rey
1997/98 2nd 22nd 1st Round
1998/99 2ndB 1st Round of 16
1999/00 2nd 7th 1st round
2000/01 2nd 8th Round of 32
2001/02 2nd 19th Round of 32
2002/03 2nd 4th Round of 64
2003/04 2nd 1st Round of 16
2004/05 1st 18th Round of 32
2005/06 2nd 3rd 1st round
2006/07 1st 15th Round of 32
2007/08 1st 20th Round of 16
2008/09 2nd 8th 2nd round
2009/10 2nd 3rd 2nd round
2010/11 1st 14th Round of 16
2011/12 1st 6th Quarter-finals
2012/13 1st 11th Round of 16
2013/14 1st 10th Quarterfinals
2014/15 1st 14th Round of 16
2015/16 1st 20th Round of 32
2016/17 2nd 2nd round

Levante FC

Gimnástico FC

Levante UD

Current squad

As of 31 August 2016[8]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Spain GK Raúl Fernández
2 Spain DF Iván López
3 Spain DF Toño
4 Spain DF Róber (on loan from Deportivo La Coruña)
6 Spain MF Javier Espinosa
7 Spain MF Verza (2nd captain)
8 Colombia MF Jefferson Lerma
9 Spain FW Roger Martí
10 Spain MF Rubén García (3rd captain)
11 Spain MF José Luis Morales (4th captain)
12 Montenegro DF Esteban Saveljich
No. Position Player
13 Spain GK Álex Remiro (on loan from Athletic Bilbao)
15 Spain DF Sergio Postigo
16 Spain DF Chema Rodríguez
17 Brazil FW Rafael Martins
18 Spain FW Víctor Casadesús
19 Spain DF Pedro López (Captain)
20 Spain MF Paco Montañés (on loan from Espanyol)
21 Spain MF Natxo Insa
22 Spain DF Abraham Minero (on loan from Zaragoza)
23 Spain FW Jason
24 Spain MF José Campaña

Reserve team

Main article: Atlético Levante UD

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
26 Spain MF Pepelu García
27 Spain GK Koke Ruiz
28 Spain DF Fran López
No. Position Player
29 Spain DF Mode
30 Spain DF Kaiser
33 Brazil FW Allyson

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Spain MF Víctor Camarasa (on loan at Alavés until 30 June 2017)
Brazil FW Deyverson (on loan at Alavés until 30 June 2017)


National Competitions

Regional Competitions

Friendly Tournaments

Notable former players

Note: this list includes players that have appeared in at least 100 league games and/or have reached international status.

Famous coaches

Other managers


Estadi Ciutat de València was opened on 9 September 1969, with capacity for 25,354 spectators. Dimensions are 107x69 meters.

See also


External links

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