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The Nou Mestalla, the potential future home of La Liga club Valencia CF, is one of the longest ongoing stadium construction projects in world football.
Construction began, remarkably, way back in 2007, but a series of delays since – mainly caused by financial concerns and issues – means the Nou Mestalla remains half-built. It is now claimed that Nou Mestalla will finally be completed by 2025.
What's the back story, though? And can these new claims be believed? Football Ground Guide reviews the latest here…
Nou Mestalla plans and timeline
The construction of the Nou Mestalla began in 2007 when Valencia CF reached the pinnacle of their history by winning several trophies, including two La Liga titles under Rafael Benitez.
The plan to capitalise on the team's success on the field and to build a new state-of-the-art 80,000 seater stadium was one that many saw as a no-brainer at the time, and it was intended that the club would continue to compete with clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona, whilst also competing against Europe's elite in the Champions League.
All look well under the ownership of former club president, Juan Soler, who after their UEFA Cup triumph in 2004, announced two years later, details on a new stadium to be built for a club very much on the up.
Work began on the stadium, but within two years, it was stopped due to a lack of funds, which left a half-built stadium, with no club playing in it. Since then, it has lay there, vacated. Under the ownership of Peter Lim, it is no nearer completion, with the club struggling on and off the field.
— Valencia CF (@valenciacf_en) June 23, 2022
A plan that once entailed Nou Mestalla to be built by 2010 at the latest, with it scheduled to host the Champions League final in 2011, has now become a farce, leaving Valencia CF with ownership of one and a half stadia and continuing to play at the current Mestalla.
Will Valencia ever move into Nou Mestalla?
There was a glimmer of hope that reconstruction would continue in October 2022, when the club released plans for the project that started back in 2007, in June 2022.
However, no progress has been made and Nou Mestalla still stands half-built. There have been whispers that it will be built and finished by 2025, but with past plans never coming to fruition, fans have been sceptical as to whether the stadium will ever be finished.
What will the new Valencia stadium be like?
Nou Mestalla itself was initially supposed to be an 80,000 seater, ‘luxurious' and ‘state-of-the-art' stadium built to compete with the best clubs and stadia in Europe.
However, with plans stalling, lack of funds and no finish date confirmed, the future capacity has been slashed to nearly half of that, with 49,000 being the maximum number of spectators able to watch a game on match day.
As said previously, the completion date is said to be sometime in 2025, but there has been no confirmed exact date for this, which has led many fans to believe it will be much further into the future before they see their club move from their current home of the Mestalla.
Valencia CF: The history of the Mestalla
The Estadio Mestalla, as it was known when it was first used back on the 20th May 1923, in a match played between its occupiers, Valencia CF and its first away team, Levante.
The stadium at the time had a capacity of 17,000, with the capacity increased four years later to 25,000. It was again renovated in the 1950s to increase its capacity to 60,000. It has since decreased its capacity to 49,430, making it the eighth largest stadium in Spain in modern times.
It was not always named the Mestalla, however, and in 1969, the name changed to that of Estadio Luis Casanova, the club's president at the time, Luis Casanova Giner.
In 1994, Casanova requested that the name be reverted to the Mestalla as he felt overwhelmed by the honour of having the stadium named after him.
The stadium's name, the Mestalla, comes from the historic canal of Mestalla. The canal posed an obstacle for fans who wanted to gain entry to the south stand, jumping over the Mestalla Canal to get to the ground.
The stadium's North Stand is famous for having a steep section for fans who brave it to watch their club play weekly.
The stadium has played host to World Cup matches, when Spain held the tournament back in 1982, hosting the Spanish national team's three group games versus, Honduras, Yugoslavia and Northern Ireland, a game they lost 1-0, thanks to a goal from Gerry Armstrong.
It is said to be one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history.