Mestalla is a popular football stadium located in Valencia, Spain. The stadium has a decent capacity of 55,000 seats and is the home ground of Valencia Club de Futbol.
One thing that is significant and unique about this stadium is that during the Civil War, it was used as a concentration camp and storage camp.
The stadium was inaugurated on 20 May 1923 with a friendly match between Valencia Club de Futbol and Levante UD.
This new stadium was initially opened with a seating capacity of 17,000. But this seating capacity kept changing over the years. Within the next four years only, the seating capacity was increased by 8,000 and reached 25,000.
In 1950, the stadium was renovated again and the seating capacity got increased to 45,500. The stadium was not operational between the years 1957 and 1959 as it was damaged in the floods of October 1957.
The stadium’s name has also changed a couple of times over the years. In 2007, the construction of a replacement stadium called ‘Nou Mestalla’ also started and it’s still under construction. This new stadium will have a capacity of 61,500.
Mestalla has been host to many major matches over the years. In fact, it has also hosted many major matches for the Spain national football team.
The stadium was the team’s group venue in the 1982 FIFA World Cup and also during the 1992 Summer Olympics. All the matches that Spain played were held at this stadium, and they ended up winning the Gold medal.
There haven’t been many controversies that took place at this ground. But out of the few that happened, one that stands out was in the encounter between Valencia and Barcelona in November 2017. The match ended up in a draw with both the teams scoring one goal each.
But the main talking point of the match was Messi’s ghost-goal. His shot squirmed through Valencia’s keeper’s arms. He collected it from the goalmouth but it was only after it crossed the line.
The players first moved to the corner to celebrate first and then remonstrate. While this was happening, the game kept continuing behind the players.