Levante UD

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Levante Unión Deportiva, S.A.D. logo.svg
Full nameLevante Unión Deportiva, S.A.D.
Nickname(s)Granotes (The Frogs)
Los Azulgranas
Founded9 September 1909; 113 years ago (1909-09-09)
GroundCiutat de València
PresidentQuico Catalán
Head coachJavier Calleja
LeagueSegunda División
2021–22La Liga, 19th of 20 (relegated)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

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

Founded on 9 September 1909, Levante play in Segunda División, holding home games at Ciutat de València Stadium.[2][3][4]


Early years (1909–1935)[edit]

Levante CF vs Valencia CF in 1932

Levante UD was formerly registered as Levante Football Club on 9 September 1909[5][6] (celebrating its 100th anniversary on 9 September 2009[7]). 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).[8] 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.[9][10][11][12]

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,[13] 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)[edit]

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.[14]

Merging: Gimnástico and Levante (1939)[edit]

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.[15] 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.[16][17][12][10][18]

La Liga: relegations and promotions (1963–present)[edit]

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.

Johan Cruyff in his debut with Levante, March 1981

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 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.[19] 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.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22] 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.[23] There, they made it to the last 16 before a 2–0 extra-time loss to Russia's FC Rubin Kazan.[24]

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, beat the champions Barcelona by a scoreline 5–4 (initially leading 5–1), with Emmanuel Boateng scoring his first ever career hat-trick.[25] This win ended Barcelona's hopes of achieving an unbeaten season.[26]

In the 2021–22 season, Levante was relegated after being defeated 0-6 by Real Madrid, ending their 5 years in top tier.


Recent history[edit]

Before a game in March 2013
Season Div Pos. Pld W D L GF GA Pts 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
2019–20 1D 12th 38 14 7 17 47 53 49 Last 32
2020–21 1D 14th 38 9 14 15 46 57 41 Semi-finals
2021–22 1D 19th 38 8 11 19 51 76 35 2nd round Relegated

European record[edit]

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 (a.e.t.) 0–2

Season to season[edit]

Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1939–40 2 1st 1st round
1940–41 2 3rd Quarter-finals
1941–42 2 8th 1st round
1942–43 3 1ª Reg. 1st 1st round
1943–44 3 1st -
1944–45 3 2nd -
1945–46 3 1st -
1946–47 2 6th Round of 16
1947–48 2 5th 5th round
1948–49 2 9th 4th round
1949–50 2 13th 3rd round
1950/51 2 13th -
1951–52 2 14th -
1952–53 3 2nd -
1953–54 3 1st -
1954–55 2 15th -
1955–56 3 1st -
1956–57 2 11th -
1957–58 2 4th -
1958–59 2 2nd Round of 32
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1959–60 2 6th 1st round
1960–61 2 6th 1st round
1961–62 2 6th 1st round
1962–63 2 2nd Round of 16
1963–64 1 10th Round of 32
1964–65 1 14th Round of 16
1965–66 2 5th 1st round
1966–67 2 4th Round of 32
1967–68 2 14th 1st round
1968–69 3 3rd -
1969–70 3 4th 3rd round
1970–71 3 12th 1st round
1971–72 3 6th 2nd round
1972–73 3 1st 3rd round
1973–74 2 19th 5th round
1974–75 3 2nd 4th round
1975–76 3 1st 1st round
1976–77 2 18th 2nd round
1977–78 3 2ª B 4th 3rd round
1978–79 3 2ª B 1st 2nd round
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1979–80 2 10th 3rd round
1980–81 2 9th Round of 16
1981–82 2 19th 3rd round
1982–83 4 2nd 2nd round
1983–84 4 2nd 2nd round
1984–85 3 2ª B 11th 2nd round
1985–86 3 2ª B 10th -
1986–87 4 2nd -
1987–88 3 2ª B 6th 3rd round
1988–89 3 2ª B 1st 2nd round
1989–90 2 15th 1st round
1990–91 2 19th 3rd round
1991–92 3 2ª B 11th 3rd round
1992–93 3 2ª B 9th 2nd round
1993–94 3 2ª B 3rd 3rd round
1994–95 3 2ª B 1st 1st round
1995–96 3 2ª B 1st 3rd round
1996–97 2 9th 2nd round
1997–98 2 22nd 1st round
1998–99 3 2ª B 1st Round of 16
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1999–2000 2 7th prem. round
2000–01 2 8th Round of 32
2001–02 2 19th Round of 32
2002–03 2 4th Round of 64
2003–04 2 1st Round of 16
2004–05 1 18th Round of 32
2005–06 2 3rd 1st round
2006–07 1 15th Round of 32
2007–08 1 20th Round of 16
2008–09 2 8th 2nd round
2009–10 2 3rd 2nd round
2010–11 1 14th Round of 16
2011–12 1 6th Quarter-finals
2012–13 1 11th Round of 16
2013–14 1 10th Quarter-finals
2014–15 1 14th Round of 16
2015–16 1 20th Round of 32
2016–17 2 1st 2nd round
2017–18 1 15th Round of 16
2018–19 1 15th Round of 16
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
2019–20 1 12th Round of 32
2020–21 1 14th Semi-finals
2021–22 1 19th 2nd round
2022–23 2


Current squad[edit]

As of 29 October 2022.[27]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Spain ESP Dani Cárdenas
2 DF Spain ESP Son
3 DF Spain ESP Enric Franquesa
4 DF Spain ESP Róber Pier
5 DF Germany GER Shkodran Mustafi
6 MF Spain ESP Pablo Martínez
7 FW Brazil BRA Wesley Moraes (on loan from Aston Villa)
8 MF Spain ESP Pepelu
9 FW Spain ESP Roberto Soldado
10 MF Spain ESP Vicente Iborra (vice-captain; on loan from Villarreal)
11 FW Spain ESP Álex Cantero
13 GK Spain ESP Joan Femenías
No. Pos. Nation Player
14 DF Portugal POR Rúben Vezo
15 DF Spain ESP Sergio Postigo (captain)
16 DF Spain ESP Álex Muñoz
17 FW Spain ESP Roger Brugué
18 MF Spain ESP Jorge de Frutos
19 MF Spain ESP Rober Ibáñez
20 MF Spain ESP Joni Montiel (on loan from Rayo Vallecano)
21 FW Belgium BEL Charly Musonda Jr.
22 FW Morocco MAR Mohamed Bouldini
23 DF Uruguay URU Marcelo Saracchi
24 MF Spain ESP José Campaña
29 DF Spain ESP Marc Pubill

Reserve team[edit]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
26 GK Spain ESP Pablo Cuñat
31 DF Spain ESP Carlos Giménez
33 FW Spain ESP José Cambra
No. Pos. Nation Player
35 MF Spain ESP Hugo Redón
39 DF Spain ESP Mario Climent

Out on loan[edit]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
DF Spain ESP Toni Herrero (at Amorebieta until 30 June 2023)
DF Spain ESP Antonio Leal (at Unionistas until 30 June 2023)
MF Spain ESP Álex Blesa (at Cultural Leonesa until 30 June 2023)
MF Georgia (country) GEO Giorgi Kochorashvili (at Castellón until 30 June 2023)
No. Pos. Nation Player
FW Sweden SWE Omar Faraj (at Degerfors until 31 December 2022)
FW Spain ESP Dani Gómez (at Espanyol until 30 June 2023)
FW Brazil BRA Fabrício (at Castellón until 30 June 2023)
FW Spain ESP Joan Pulpón (at Alzira until 30 June 2023)

Club officials[edit]

Current technical staff[edit]

Position Staff
Head coach Spain Javier Calleja
Assistant Coach Spain Quique Álvarez
Fitness Coach Spain José Romero
Goalkeeping Coach Spain Jesús Unanua
Analyst Spain Luismi Loro
Spain José Ignacio Aizpurua Alzaga
Spain Joan García Llopis
Technical assistant Spain Pedro López
Chief of medical services Spain Miguel Ángel Buil Bellver
Doctor Spain Salvador Hyonseob Chang
Rehab fitness coach Spain Javier Olmo Sánchez
Rehab coach Spain Cristóbal Fuentes Nieto
Spain Luis Miguel González Cuesta
Physiotherapist Spain Tomás Coloma Martínez
Argentina Martín Badano
Spain Javier Torres Macías
Spain Luis Escudero Soria
Nutritionist Spain Ana García
Chiropodist Spain Santiago Muñoz Crespo
Psychologist Spain Juan Miguel Bernat
Delegate Spain José Antonio Gómez Gómez
Field delegate Spain Andrés Garcerá Moncholí
Maintenance chief Spain José Ramón Ferrer Bueno
Equipment Manager Spain Ángel Martínez
Spain Manolo Motos

Last updated: 29 October 2022
Source: Levante UD

Notable former players[edit]

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



National competitions[edit]

Regional competitions[edit]

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

Friendly tournaments[edit]

  • 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[4][3] was opened on 9 September 1969, with capacity for 25,354 spectators. Dimensions are 107x69 meters.

Due to the 2019–20 season's late finish because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and renovation work at their stadium, Levante concluded the campaign behind closed doors at the Estadi Olímpic Camilo Cano in La Nucia, Province of Alicante.[30]


Levante contest the Derbi Valenciano, also known as the Derbi del Turia or Derbi Valentino, with local rivals Valencia.[31] The fixture has only been played 38 times competitively, however, with Valencia currently holding 21 wins to Levante's 8.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Levante: Paco López es el hombre de moda tras vencer al Barça". AS.com (in Spanish). 15 May 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Ten things you may not know about the Ciutat de Valencia stadium". Laliga.es. 13 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b http://files.laliga.es/pdfs_estadios/estadio-ciutat-de-valencia.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  4. ^ a b "Estadi Ciutat de Valencia - Levante". The Stadium Guide. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Levante Unión Deportiva SAD". Laliga.es. 13 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  6. ^ La nostra història, el nostre orgull
  7. ^ El Levante cumple cien años
  8. ^ "Levant". Dictionary.com. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  9. ^ ""Se siente, se nota, Valencia es granota"". 15 June 2010.
  10. ^ a b "La historia más enorme jamás contada". 28 November 2011.
  11. ^ "El nacimiento del fútbol en Valencia". Levanteud.com. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  12. ^ a b González, Emilio Nadal (16 December 2014). Siempre Tuyo, Levante Ud. ISBN 9788416048724.
  13. ^ Spain – List of Champions of Levante, Valencia and Murcia; at RSSSF
  14. ^ Spain – Copa de España Libre 1937; at RSSSF
  15. ^ "Todo empezó en el mes de septiembre de 1909". Levanteud.com. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  16. ^ "Why are Levante called the 'granotas'?". Laliga.es. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  17. ^ La Vanguardia (26 October 2011). "Las diez leyendas del Levante". Lavanguardia.com. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  18. ^ "El Levante cumple cien años... Más dos". 31 August 2009.
  19. ^ Levante are finally dethroned as La Liga becomes a more boring place; The Guardian, 31 October 2011
  20. ^ Levante are back and this time they're ready to take on the world; The Guardian, 17 October 2011
  21. ^ Levante pulls off the impossible; Sports Illustrated, 26 October 2011
  22. ^ Underdog turns heads at the top in Spain; The New York Times, 28 October 2011
  23. ^ "Ghezzal helps Levante secure European place". ESPN Soccernet. 13 May 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  24. ^ "Rubin edge out Levante in extra time". UEFA. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  25. ^ "LaLiga – Levante 5–4 Barcelona: Emmanuel Boateng scores the first hat-trick of his career against Barcelona". MARCA in English. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  26. ^ Grounds, Ben (14 May 2018). "Levante 5-4 Barcelona: Catalans' unbeaten run comes to an end in nine-goal thriller". Sky Sports. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  27. ^ "Plantilla" [Squad] (in Spanish). Levante UD. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  28. ^ Trofeo Costa de Valencia;at RSSSF
  29. ^ "Trofeo Comunidad Valenciana". 15 December 2017.
  30. ^ "El At.Madrid jugará mañana contra el Levante UD en La Nucía" [At.Madrid will play tomorrow against Levante UD in La Nucía]. El Peridic (in Spanish). 22 June 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  31. ^ "Valencian Derby: 8 Surprising Anecdotes About The Most Exciting Football Encounter". ISC Spain. 25 November 2015.

External links[edit]