El Centrocampista

FROM RUIN TO REBIRTH – The transformation of Valencia

By Archie Buck

Valencia kick off their pre-season tonight against PSV Eindhoven, the first match of six in five different countries,  culminating in an illustrious night at Anfield.
The players should get used to travelling if they hope to take their UEFA Champions League adventure well into the New Year.

It is the second consecutive year the club have made it into Europe’s premier club competition, preceeded by four years in the UEFA Cup,  and it symbolises the continued rebirth of one of Football’s modern giants as they continue their steady return to former glories.

The financial axe still hangs over the Mestalla, but the threat has become less significant.
The club is restructured, the players no longer fear being sold, and they know their pay will arrive on time.

Last season marked the tenth anniversary of Valencia’s second, successive UEFA Champions League Final appearance, both times saw them fall just short.

Only Alba, Miguel, Mata, Maduro and Albelda have been at the club longer than the manager and that says a lot about the changes, Unai Emery has coached Valencia since 2008 and has overseen the stripping down of a once mighty giant.

David Albelda now stands alone as a talisman and reminder of the old dynasty.

Unai Emery is in his fourth season.

The departure of the Davids, Silva and Villa, appear to have been the last forced sales to strengthen the financial state of the club. Though there is interest in Mata, Valencia do not have to sell. Unthinkably when you consider the situation in 2008.

Instead the club have been investing. The young and exciting pair of Dani Parejo and Pablo Piatti have been brought in to bolster the attacking options, and Adil Rami brought in at the back.

It looks like a promising future for the club. The money from David Villa and David Silva was invested wisely and shrewdly in the likes of Soldado and Aduriz, the majority going towards the debt repayment, and they paid for themselves and more notching 28 goals between them.

The emergence of Ever Banega and Juan Mata, a product of Real Madrid’s Youth and Valencia’s nurturing, has of course helped.
It is widely known that Mata is on the watch list of some of Europe’s top clubs and Valencia would demand top money to be parted with him. However the news at the moment is promising, no club has put in an offer, there have only been enquiries, and though Valencia would consider bids they would not be forced to accept them.

Progress in Europe will be a priority due to the financial income available in the knockout stages, and they will hope for Champions League qualification again by consolidating their top four status.

Valencia realistically have no chance of winning the league, to outdo Barcelona and Real Madrid is impossible. Winning the third place spot, for the third year running against the likes of Villarreal and Atletico, is the target.
The new additions to the squad will give Emery the chance to rest players, unlike last season where the squad was stretched at times.

This is a great time to be a Valencia fan, exciting players, Champions League Football and the potential of a new stadium in the near future.

A long but potentially great season lies ahead for los che.

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