Valencia’s Mestalla is home to a set of the most demanding and proud fans in Spain, whose support has seen the team dethrone plenty of European giants.
“I started following you when I was little and gradually fell in love with you. I'll always be by your side whenever you play. Don't let me down, Valencia, I've never let you down.”
This football chant embodies the relationship between Valencia CF and their fan base, whose demanding nature is well-documented. However, their passion and loyalty to the club also shine through.
Mestalla holds 55,000 of the most devoted supporters who deliver an atmosphere that is unmatched by any Spain. Not only does the stadium showcase the partisan backing of Valencia supporters but it is also one of the top stadiums in Europe.
In 2016, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph placed Mestalla in second position of the top 20 greatest stadiums in Europe.
The paper stated: “The steepest stand of any major ground in Europe still take the breath away, even if you have seen them a thousand times.”
The ground opened in 1923 and is the oldest ground in the top flight of Spanish football. It took its name from one of the irrigation canals that ran through the Horta de Valencia and now has over 95 years of history to look back on.
The stadium itself adds to the atmosphere on game day, with the latest revamp turning it into a white, orange and black temple fitting in perfectly with the local streets paved with fans wearing the same colours.
Prior to kick off the fans provide a festive aura, thanks to the music played to build anticipation for the coming game. However, as away teams have found out, this only plants the seeds for an atmosphere of pressure and passion from the over 50,000 vocal home supporters.
The Valencia supporters make themselves heard every 90-minutes, making it easy to understand why the stadium is considered one of the fiercest cauldrons in La Liga.
While construction of a ‘New Mestalla’ began in 2007 it has since been put on hold, with Valencia announcing late last year they plan to negotiate a renewal of the building process with Valencia’s city council.
Mestalla may not be the most state-of-the-art stadium but a magical atmosphere created by the fans is one of the best to soak up the beautiful game. The ground is simply unparalleled in this regard.