Levante UD
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Levante UD

Levante Unión Deportiva, S.A.D. logo.svg
Full nameLevante Unión Deportiva,
Nickname(s)Granotas (The Frogs)
Founded9 September 1909; 110 years ago (1909-09-09)
GroundCiutat de València, Valencia,
Valencia, Spain
PresidentQuico Catalán
Head coachPaco López
LeagueLa Liga
2018-19La Liga, 15th
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Levante Unión Deportiva, S.A.D. (Spanish: [le'?ante u'njon depo?'ti?a], Valencian: Llevant Unió Esportiva [?e'vant uni'o espo?'tiva]) is a Spanish football club in Valencia, in the namesake autonomous community.

Founded on 9 September 1909, it plays in La Liga, holding home games at Ciutat de Valencia Stadium.[1][2][3]


Early years (1909-1935)

Levante CF vs Valencia CF in 1932

Levante UD was formerly registered as Levante Football Club on 9 September 1909[4][5] (celebrating its 100th anniversary on 9 September 2009[6]). Levante Union Deportiva (Football Club) has the eastern region of the Iberian Peninsula as its namesake. Levante is Spain's east coast, the coast where the sun always rises (rise in Spanish being levantar).[7] Levante UD's name is likewise attributed to the Levant wind that comes from the east and reminiscent of the Levante beach in La Malvarrosa, where Levante Football Club (as Levante Union Deportiva was originally named) clashed some of its earliest fixtures. Historically backed, Levante Union Deportiva is the most senior football club in Valencia. Local rival team Valencia CF was not formed until 1919.[8][9][10][11]

Levante'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 CF 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 its first trophy, the Valencian Championship.

1909 also saw the birth of Gimnástico Football Club, which originally played at Patronato de la Juventud Obrera, being then named Gimnástico-Patronato. In 1919, Gimnástico became the champion of the Campeonato de Valencia, beating CD Castellón in two leg finals; the next year, the club had become Real Gimnástico Football Club, after being granted royal patronage by Alfonso XIII, and they reached the final of Campeonato Regional de Levante, but lost to Club Deportivo Aguileño. In 1931, with the emergence of the Second Spanish Republic, the club dropped the Real from its name.

In 1934-35, both Levante and Gimnástico debuted in the second division, when the league was expanded from 10 teams to 24. In 1935, Levante won the Campeonato Levante-Sur, a competition that featured teams from Valencia, Murcia and Andalusia,[12] and subsequently reached the semi-finals of the Spanish Cup, consecutively beating Valencia and Barcelona before losing to eventual runners-up Sabadell.

During the civil war: Copa de la España Libre (1937)

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 its city rivals 1-0 at the Montjuïc.[13]

Merging: Gimnástico and Levante (1939)

Pennat of Gimnàtic de València and Levante FC, the two teams that created the Levante UD

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, in 1939 Levante FC and Gimnástico FC merged into Levante Unión Deportiva.[14] Levante UD thus having origin from at least 1909 from both Levante FC and Gimnástico FC. At first being named Unión Deportiva Levante-Gimnástico, then changing it a few years later to Levante Unión Deportiva, with current club colours also dating from this era (the blaugrana, blue-garnet, home colours were originally those of Gimnástico FC, while the black and white away kit, were the colours of Levante FC). Moreover, Levante UD not only inherited their colors from Gimnástico FC but also their nickname, "Granota", the Frogs.[15][16][11][9][17]

La Liga: relegations and promotions (1963-present)

Levante had to wait until the 1960s to make its La Liga debut. In 1963, the club finished runner-up in Group II of the second division, defeating 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 Málaga. It spent most of the following two decades in the second and third divisions; the Segunda 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 EUR18 million in payments due to its players. The team plummeted down the standings, and it was confirmed that the club 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 La Liga after a 3-1 home win against already relegated 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.[18] 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, Levante was in third position in the Liga table, only behind Barcelona and Real Madrid after losing just once in 12 games, against Real Madrid.[19]

On 26 October 2011, during round nine of the season, Levante defeated Real Sociedad 3-2 to move top of the table with 23 points.[20] It was the first time in the club's history it reached the highest ranking in the top division. In the process, it recorded seven-straight wins after drawing its first two games.[21] The club eventually finished in sixth position after defeating Athletic Bilbao 3-0 at home in its last match, thus qualifying for the UEFA Europa League for the first time in its history.[22]

In the 2015-16 season, Levante was relegated after defeat by Málaga and finished last. The club was promoted back to the first league in 2016-17, winning the Segunda División title. In the 2017-18 season, the club secured safety in the league and on 13 May, Levante beat the champions Barcelona by a scoreline 5-4 (initially leading 5-1), with Emmanuel Boateng scoring his first ever career hat-trick.[23] This win ended Barcelona's hopes of achieving an unbeaten season.[24] Levante finished the season in 15th position, with 46 points, their best season in La Liga since 2013-14.[]

In the 2018-19 season Levante finished 15th, just 7 points from being relegated.[25]


Recent history

Before a game in March 2013
Season Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Cup Notes
2003-04 2D 1st 42 22 13 7 59 33 79 Last 16 Promoted
2004-05 1D 18th 38 9 10 19 39 58 37 Relegated
2005-06 2D 3rd 42 20 14 8 53 39 74 1st round Promoted
2006-07 1D 15th 38 10 12 16 37 53 42 Last 16
2007-08 1D 20th 38 7 5 26 33 75 26 Last 16 Relegated
2008-09 2D 8th 42 18 10 14 59 59 64
2009-10 2D 3rd 42 19 14 9 63 45 71 Promoted
2010-11 1D 14th 38 12 9 17 41 52 45 Last 16
2011-12 1D 6th 38 16 7 15 54 50 55 Quarter-finals Qualified to UEFA Europa League
2012-13 1D 11th 38 12 10 16 40 57 46 Last 16 Last 16 UEFA Europa League
2013-14 1D 10th 38 12 12 14 35 43 48 Quarter-finals
2014-15 1D 14th 38 9 10 19 34 67 37 Last 16
2015-16 1D 20th 36 7 8 21 34 66 29 1st round Relegated
2016-17 2D 1st 42 25 9 8 57 32 84 2nd round Champions and Promoted
2017-18 1D 15th 38 11 13 14 44 58 46 Last 16
2018-19 1D 15th 38 11 11 16 59 66 44 Last 16

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

  • As Levante FC
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1909/10 1 Regional 4th
1910-18 No Record
1918/19 - DNP
1919/20 1 Regional 6th
1920/21 1 Regional 3rd
1921/22 1 Regional 4th
1922/23 1 Regional 4th
1923/24 1 Regional 3rd
1924/25 1 Regional 3rd
1925/26 1 Regional 2nd group round
1926/27 1 Regional 3rd
1927/28 1 Regional 1st group round
1928/29 4 Regional 3rd
1929/30 3 3rd 2nd
1930/31 3 3rd 6th
1931/32 3 3rd 1st
1932/33 3 3rd 4th Round of 32
1933/34 3 3rd 5th Round of 32
1934/35 2 2nd 3rd Semi-finals
1935/36 2 2nd 3rd 2nd round
1937 1 ML 5th Winner
  • As Gimnástico FC
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1909/10 - DNP
1910-18 -- No Record
1918/19 1 Regional 1st
1919/20 1 Regional 2nd
1920/21 1 Regional 1st
1921/22 1 Regional 2nd
1922/23 1 Regional 2nd
1923/24 1 Regional 1st
1924/25 1 Regional 2nd
1925/26 1 Regional 3rd
1926/27 1 Regional 4th
1927/28 1 Regional 4th
1928/29 4 Regional 4th
1929/30 3 3rd 3rd
1930/31 3 3rd 5th
1931/32 3 3rd 3rd
1932/33 3 3rd 3rd
1933/34 3 3rd 3rd
1934/35 2 2nd 6th 5th round
1935/36 2 2nd 4th group round
1937 1 ML 6th
  • As Levante UD

Levante FC

Gimnástico FC

Levante UD


Current squad

As of 2 September 2019[26]

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

Reserve team

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 GK Dani Cárdenas
36 Spain MF Pablo Martínez
40 Spain DF Eliseo

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 GK Koke Vegas (at Deportivo La Coruña until 30 June 2020)
-- Spain DF Antonio Luna (at Rayo Vallecano until 30 June 2020)
-- Ivory Coast MF Cheick Doukouré (at Huesca until 30 June 2020)
-- Spain MF Fran Manzanara (at Ponferradina until 30 June 2020)
-- Spain MF Pepelu (at Tondela until 30 June 2020)
No. Position Player
-- Ghana FW Raphael Dwamena (at Zaragoza until 30 June 2020)
-- Spain FW Ivi (at Ponferradina until 30 June 2020)
-- Albania FW Armando Sadiku (at Málaga until 30 June 2020)
-- Nigeria FW Moses Simon (at Nantes until 30 June 2020)

Club officials

Current technical staff

Paco López is the current head coach of Levante.
Position Staff
Head coach Spain Paco López
Assistant manager Spain Juan Antonio López
Goalkeeping coach Spain Nicolás Bosch Marquina
Fitness coaches Spain Javier Navarro Ballester
Spain Pepe Pastor
Technical assistant Spain Sergio Navarro
Analyst Spain José Ignacio Aizpurua Alzaga
Chief of medical services Spain Miguel Ángel Buil Bellver
Doctors Spain David Caballero
Spain Salvador Hyonseob Chang
Physiotherapists Spain Martín Badano
Spain José María Baixauli Puchades
Spain Tomás Coloma Martínez
Spain Eloy Jaenada
Physical readapter Spain Javier Olmo Sánchez
Chiropodist Spain Santiago Muñoz Crespo
Psychologist Spain Juan Miguel Bernat
Kit men Spain Fernando Reyes Córcoles
Spain Moises Rodríguez Segura
Delegate Spain Andrés Garcerá Moncholí
Maintenance chief Spain José Ramón Ferrer Bueno

Last updated: 11 April 2019
Source: Levante UD

Notable former players

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



National competitions

Regional Competitions

  • Campeonato de Valencia
    • Winners: 1927-28
  • Campeonato Levante-Sur
    • Winners: 1934-35

Friendly Tournaments

  • Trofeo Costa de Valencia [28]
    • Winners: 1972, 1974, 1977
  • Trofeo Comunidad Valenciana [29]
    • Winners: 1986
  • Trofeo Ciutat de València
    • Winners: 1995
  • Trofeo Ciudad de Valencia
    • Winners: 1997
  • Trofeo de la Generalitat Valenciana
    • Winners: 2000


Estadi Ciutat de València[3][2] was opened on 9 September 1969, with capacity for 25,354 spectators. Dimensions are 107x69 meters.

See also


  1. ^ "Ten things you may not know about the Ciutat de Valencia stadium". Laliga.es. 13 September 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ a b http://files.laliga.es/pdfs_estadios/estadio-ciutat-de-valencia.pdf
  3. ^ a b "Estadi Ciutat de Valencia - Levante". The Stadium Guide. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ "Levante Unión Deportiva SAD". Laliga.es. 13 September 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ La nostra història, el nostre orgull
  6. ^ El Levante cumple cien años
  7. ^ "Levant". Dictionary.com. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ https://as.com/futbol/2010/06/15/mas_futbol/1276583211_850215.html
  9. ^ a b https://www.levante-emv.com/deportes/2011/11/28/historia-enorme-contada/860311.html
  10. ^ "El nacimiento del fútbol en Valencia". Levanteud.com. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ a b González, Emilio Nadal (16 December 2014). Siempre Tuyo, Levante Ud. ISBN 9788416048724.
  12. ^ Spain - List of Champions of Levante, Valencia and Murcia; at RSSSF
  13. ^ Spain - Copa de España Libre 1937; at RSSSF
  14. ^ "Todo empezó en el mes de septiembre de 1909". Levanteud.com. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ "Why are Levante called the 'granotas'?". Laliga.es. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ La Vanguardia (26 October 2011). "Las diez leyendas del Levante". Lavanguardia.com. Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ https://www.levante-emv.com/deportes/2009/08/31/levante-cumple-cien-anos/626049.html
  18. ^ Levante are finally dethroned as La Liga becomes a more boring place; The Guardian, 31 October 2011
  19. ^ Levante are back and this time they're ready to take on the world; The Guardian, 17 October 2011
  20. ^ Levante pulls off the impossible; Sports Illustrated, 26 October 2011
  21. ^ Underdog turns heads at the top in Spain; The New York Times, 28 October 2011
  22. ^ "Ghezzal helps Levante secure European place". ESPN Soccernet. 13 May 2012. Retrieved 2013.
  23. ^ "LaLiga - Levante 5-4 Barcelona: Emmanuel Boateng scores the first hat-trick of his career against Barcelona". MARCA in English. Retrieved 2018.
  24. ^ "Levante 5-4 Barcelona: Champions stunned in nine-goal thriller". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2018.
  25. ^ "Primera División, Temporada 2018/2019 - laliga, liga santander, la liga santander, campeonato nacional de liga de primera división, liga española". www.resultados-futbol.com. Retrieved 2019.
  26. ^ "Plantilla" [First team] (in Spanish). Levante UD.
  27. ^ "Coke Andújar, Postigo y Oier acceden a la capitanía junto a Pedro, Morales y Roger". 17 August 2018.
  28. ^ Trofeo Costa de Valencia;at RSSSF
  29. ^ "Trofeo Comunidad Valenciana". 15 December 2017.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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