Inside ‘world’s greatest football stadium’ that has been deserted for 14 years and where four people died | The Sun

VALENCIA were supposed to move into their 80,000-seater Nou Mestalla stadium ahead of the 2009-10 season.

But fourteen years on, fans are still waiting.

In 2007, boasting a squad featuring the likes of David Villa, Pablo Aimar, David Silva and Juan Mata, Valencia were well established as Spain's third-biggest club.

Supporters dreamed of further challenging the established elite over at Barcelona and Real Madrid, and it was determined that a new stadium was required to take them to the next level.

Work began on the grandiose plan, which would have been dubbed the "world's greatest football stadium".

But after Valencia were hit by the global financial crisis, it remains a decaying shell of dreams long forgotten, as the once-proud club sit on the verge of relegation.

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By the end of 2008, Valencia were claimed to have hit debts of £350million.

Their funding of Nou Mestalla was dependent on selling their old ground, but with the property market in chaos, FourFourTwo claim that Valencia couldn't find a buyer.

Having been denied a £90m loan by the bank, the debt-stricken club were forced to halt proceedings in February 2009.

While everyone at the club was disappointed by the outcome, it paled into insignificance compared to the tragedy that had happened during construction work the previous year.

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As builders worked on the ground in May 2008 a scaffolding collapsed, falling 25 feet and instantly killing two workers.

A further two men weren't immediately killed but died of their injuries in the coming days.

The entire region held a five-minute silence to pay their respects.

No wrongdoing on the part of the club, construction firm or workers themselves was identified by a subsequent investigation.


In the 14 years since work on the stadium was halted, Valencia have continued to play at their 49,430-seater Mestalla home.

A resurrection of the Nou Mestalla project has been touted on a number of occasions, but has not yet come to fruition.

Valencia were claimed to have agreed a deal with Bankia, a Spanish financial institution, to complete the ground in December 2011.

The agreement would have seen Nou Mestalla's completion financed – in exchange for Valencia's current ground.

Shortly after the agreement, however, the deal fell through.

Two years later Valencia worked with architecture company Fenwick Iribarren in a bid to get their new ground done.

Fenwick Iribarren presented a modified, less ambitious project, which would have seen the capacity reduced to 61,000.

Once again, however, a resumption on work failed to come to fruition.

Fans were teased by the prospect of their club working with the council to complete the job in 2017, but once again it was non-starter.

In June last year a farcical new plan was raised, which would see work resume in October ahead of a completion by next season… with a SMALLER capacity than their current home.

October came and went, and to the present day, work has still not resumed.

On the pitch, the once proud club have been reduced to relegation fodder by owner Peter Lim, who acquired them in 2014.

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With nine games remaining Voro's side sit 19th in LaLiga – three points off safety.

Valencia have not been in Europe since the 2019-20 season, and like their stadium project, appear to have descended into a sad state of flux.

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