Gibraltar United F.C.

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Gibraltar United F. C.
Gib Utd.png
Founded 1943 (reformed 2014)
Ground Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar
Capacity 5000
Owners Pablo Dana
Michel Salgado
President Adrian Ballestero[1]
Manager Lucas Cazorla
League Gibraltar Premier Division
2017–18 Gibraltar Premier Division, 4th

Gibraltar United F.C. is a football team from Gibraltar. Founded in 1943 in the midst of World War Two, they play in the Gibraltar Football League's Premier Division. In 2011 Gibraltar United joined forces with fellow local club Lions Football Club, with the club's new name Lions Gibraltar FC who played in Gibraltar's Premier Division. In 2014 the club announced their reformation as an independent club and played in the Gibraltar Football League's second tier once again in the 2014–15 season, winning promotion as champions.

History[edit]

The club was founded by Gibraltarian servicemen who remained on the rock during the Second World War, as the civilian population was evacuated which put a halt to league football in Gibraltar over the war years. Gibraltar United would represent Gibraltarians and play against the UK based regiments and other military units serving in Gibraltar. Once competitive football resumed on the Rock in 1946, United sealed their first league title. The club would dominate the next 10 years before entering a dry spell, winning a few more titles in the early 1960s with their last league title in 2001–02 - the last league title won by a side other than Lincoln Red Imps for 15 years before Europa's triumph in the 2016–17 season.

Despite the triumph in 2002 breaking nearly 50 year without success at the club (aside from 3 consecutive Rock Cup victories from 1999 to 2001), the club quickly began to see a decline in fortunes against the continued dominance of Lincoln, and rumours began to emerge that the historic club was close to ceasing operations, amidst talk of a rumour with lower level club Lions FC to retain Gibraltar United's Premier Division place and adopt Lions' youth program. After merging with Lions in 2011 to form Lions Gibraltar, the club established itself as a mid-table Gibraltar Premier Division side. However, in 2014, after the Gibraltar Football Association was accepted into UEFA, the club became independent of Lions once again and competed in the Gibraltar Second Division. After a tight race with Angels and Europa Point, the club won the title and promotion to the Gibraltar Premier Division for the 2015–16 season, building a squad with strong focus on Gibraltarian footballers and hiring Manolo Sanchez Nuñez as manager. A difficult first season saw them finish narrowly above the relegation playoff, with an 8th place finish securing safety.

In April 2017, the club entered partnerships with Turicum Bank and former Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado, with the latter becoming one of the new owners of the club along with Dubai based businessman Pablo Dana. With survival confirmed at the end of the season with a 7th place finish, it was announced that Salgado would oversee youth trials in June, as well as arranging all transfers in preparation for the next season. United overauled their squad and did away with their 'local only' policy for the start of the 17/18 season though they still retained around 50% of the squad as local players with a fair number of both full and Under 21 and Under 19 Internationals. Manolo Hierro also joined the Club as Director of Football soon after the 17/18 season started.

After a 4th place finish in the 2017–18 season, manager Manolo left the club. Lucas Cazorla was hired in his place. In July 2018, Gibraltar United made international headlines when it became the first football club in the world to pay players in part with cryptocurrency, through a sponsorship with Quantocoin.[2] Pablo Domingo Fernandez and former Sevilla FC goalkeeper Antonio Notario Caro also joined the technical staff in July 2018.

Current squad[edit]

Squad as of 9 August 2018[3]

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

No. Position Player
1 Gibraltar GK Kyle Goldwin (captain)
2 Spain DF Xavier Carmona
3 Spain DF Gonzalo
4 Spain DF David Gómez
5 Gibraltar DF Erin Barnett (vice captain)
6 Spain MF Carlos Carrasco
7 Netherlands FW Achraf Nait Brahim
8 Gibraltar MF Shaun De Los Santos
9 Spain FW Álvaro Castiella
10 Spain MF Dani Ponce
11 Gibraltar FW Tito de Torres
13 Gibraltar GK Jorge Avellano
No. Position Player
15 Gibraltar DF Aymen Mouelhi
16 Spain FW Francisco Álvarez
17 Spain MF Chico Rubio
19 Spain FW Germán Cortés
20 Gibraltar MF Michael Negrette
22 Spain DF Moisés Suárez
24 Gibraltar MF Jamie Bosio (vice-captain)
25 Spain GK José Miguel González
33 Gibraltar DF Steffan Cardona
Argentina MF Guido Ratto
Mali FW Mohamed Diallo

Club staff[edit]

Position Name
Club Management
Manager Spain Lucas Cazorla
Assistant Manager Spain Javier Sanchez Alfaro
Physical Trainer Spain Pablo Domingo Fernandez
Goalkeeping Coach Spain Antonio Notario
Physiotherapist Gibraltar Gavin Viñales
Team Delegate Gibraltar Francis Huart
Intermediate Team Coach England Graham Malcolm
Board
President Gibraltar Adrian Ballestero
Director of Football Spain Manolo Hierro
Secretary TBC
Assistant Secretary Gibraltar Jonathan McNeice
Spain David Diez Espagne

Achievements[edit]

Gibraltar Premier Division - 11

1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1954, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1965, 2002

Gibraltar Second Division - 2

1999, 2015

Rock Cup - 4

1947, 1999, 2000, 2001

References[edit]

  1. ^ PRESIDENTIAL CHANGE Gibraltar United F.C. 5 September 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  2. ^ Cryptocurrency and football: the future or too volatile to be trusted? The Guardian. 29 July 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  3. ^ [1]