Ground: Estadio Ciudad de Valencia
Date: 30th December 2015
Match: Levante - Málaga 0-1 (Primera División)
Attendance: 12 094
The last 10 years I have travelled to England/Scotland around New Year but this time around things would be different. With no matches at new grounds for me for four days the fixture list in England was not as I had hoped for and I started to look elsewhere. Normally there aren´t any league games in Spain between Christmas and the New Year but to help the national side the Spanish FA wants the league to end as early as possible in May 2016. This meant a round of midweek fixtures were scheduled for 30-31 December. More importantly, the following weekend I had the chance of visiting both Estadio Vicente Calderón and Mestalla. These two classic football grounds will soon be replaced by newer and more modern grounds and 2015/16 is the penultimate season for Atlético Madrid at Vicente Calderón. My trip started with a flight from Copenhagen to Barcelona from where I went by train to Valencia. I left Kristianstad 08.30 on Tuesday morning and 13 hours later I was in my hotel room in Valencia. No problems during the journey and 13-14 degrees as I arrived in Valencia. For the first three nights of this tour I will stay in Valencia before going to Madrid on Friday morning. I will then return to Valencia on Sunday afternoon for the highlight of this tour, Valencia vs Real Madrid at Mestalla.
As I woke up in Valencia on Wednesday morning the weather was fantastic, sunshine and a clear sky. During the day the temperature would rise to almost 20 °C, not exactly the kind of temperatures I am used to in December. My first match this week was Levante vs Málaga at 16.00. Levante play at Estadio Ciudad de Valencia and after a late breakfast I used the metro to get to Machado station. From Machado it takes 7-8 minutes to walk to the ground. Once I found out where tickets were being sold from (which actually was a bit tricky) I bought a ticket for the stand opposite the main stand. I then took a few exterior pictures before returning to Machado station. Before the Levante vs Málaga game I wanted to do some sightseeing in the city centre but also to visit Mestalla, the home of Valencia CF. Mestalla is close to the city centre so it was not a major detour. From the outside the ground looked awesome and I was now even more looking forward to the game on Sunday evening. After taking a few exterior pictures I went by the metro to Colon (only two stations) and I started my sightseeing tour. The city centre of Valencia is nice and with the weather being glorious I fully enjoyed my time there. Shortly after 14.00 I was back at Estadio Ciudad de Valencia. Earlier in the day I had spotted a nice restaurant opposite the ground and as I went back to the restaurant I was pleased to find out they had a table for me. The turnstiles at Estadio Ciudad de Valencia opened at 14.45 and as usual I went inside as soon as it was possible. Estadio Ciudad de Valencia was built in 1969 and has a capacity of 25 500. The ground only has one covered stand but with no running tracks it still is an ok ground to visit.
After 16 rounds of the 2015/16 La Liga season Levante are bottom of the table. They have scored only 12 goals so far and with the visitors from Málaga having scored only 10 goals I was expecting an even game with few chances. I was to be correct, both teams had a few chances but never looked like they would score in the glorious weather at Estadio Ciudad de Valencia. For 60 minutes I was wearing a t-shirt only and having spent this time of the year the last 10 years in the UK I am used to slightly different weather. I can fully understand those groundhoppers who spend a lot of time in Valencia/Spain during the winter months. Anyway, there was actually to be a goal in this game. In the 78th minute Málaga were awarded a free.kick right outside the penalty area. Duda fired the free-kick into the net and the 10-15 Málaga fans present could celebrate three points. As the final whistle went there was a lot of booing from the home fans and Levante must be in real danger of being relegated. This was my first ever match in Primera División but tomorrow, on New Year´s Eve, I will go to the Villarreal vs Valencia "derby" at El Madrigal. Hopefully more goals then.
Sightseeing pictures from Valencia
View from my hotel room
Plaza del Temple
Torre de Serranos
Torre de Serranos
Torre de Serranos
Plaza de la Verge
Plaza de la Porta de la Mar
Pictures from Levante vs Málaga
Directions from the metro station
Rear of the West Stand
Estadio Ciudad de Valencia (spelt in Valencian)
Rear of the South Stand
Rear of the East Stand
View of play
View of play