The 80s were undoubtedly a decade of disappointment for Valencia CF fans. Although during the first half of the decade the team was on top of European football, earning the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup title and the UEFA Super Cup (the first Spanish team to win), finally in 1986, after a brush with disaster, they were pushed down to the Second Division. One year later, Valencia CF returned to the height of Spanish football and began to recover; although the players put up a good fight, they were still unable to achieve another title, losing during extra time against Deportivo de La Coruña in the Copa del Rey final (1996), the so-called “final del agua”; a match which went on for two days due to the torrential downpour which left the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid completely unusable.
From 1999, the Valencian team began a series of triumphant years that pushed them up the ranks to be considered the world’s most powerful team. At the hands of trainers Claudio Renieri, Héctor Cúper and Rafael Benítez, the club achieved two championship league titles, one Copa del Rey, one UEFA Cup, one Super Cup of Spain and one UEFA Super Cup. The team was also finalist two-years running for the Champions League. In the first most important European final (Paris), the Valencian team were mercilessly destroyed by a much stronger Real Madrid. In the subsequent final in Milan, Bayern München walked away with the title following a penalty shootout. Valencia CF is still to this day the only team to have lost during two consecutive penalties in the UEFA Champions League final.
Since then, except for 2007 when they earned another Copa del Rey title, Valencia CF has witnessed a dip in their sporting success, in the grip of an economic crisis which is reflected by the new and unfinished playing field. Because of this debt, the club will be sold to an international investor; a risky yet obligatory step owing to a set of circumstances. It seems that Valencia CF fans must trust in their team (ranked third in historical league tables including the Liga, after Real Madrid and Barcelona) to once again occupy top positions in both home and away tournaments.
Titles won by Valencia CF: six La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles, one Super Cup of Spain title, two Inter-Cities Fairs Cup titles, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup title, two UEFA Super Cup titles.
The team’s most shining Spanish football players: Cubells, Montes, Mundo, Gorostiza, Eizaguirre, Claramunt, Pasieguito, Puchades, Carrete, Guillot, Mestre, Quincoces, Arias, Subirats, Tendillo, Fernando, Mendieta, Silva, Villa, Albelda, Baraja, Cañizares, Angulo.
Important international players: Waldo, Wilkes, Kempes, Claudio López, Mijatovic, Carboni.
Key coaches: Anton Fivebr, Eduardo Cubells, Jacinto Quincoces, Ramón Encinas, Bernardino Pérez “Pasieguito”, Mundo, Alfredo Di Stéfano, Claudio Ranieri, Héctor Cúper, Rafael Benítez.