#VALENCIA CF | 1995, the rain drowned Valencia in the final

VALENCIA. Second of the chapters dedicated to the Copa del Rey finals “in color” played by Valencia CF. On this occasion we will stop at the final played in 1995. The only one of the last 5 played by the club that did not end in a title, and the only one in the history of the tournament that had to be played on two different days due to a suspension due to the torrent of water that fell on Madrid that late night. When the team had gotten wind of the final and was superior to Depor, the rain forced the match to be interrupted and Valencia CF kept the title away.

For a Valencia champion

That was the motto that propelled Paco Roig the previous season to win the elections to the Board of Directors after two years of continuous wear and tear on the previous board chaired by Arturo Tuzón. The elections take place on March 9, 1994 and Roig widely prevails over the official candidate Ramón Romero. Among his promises, the great signings that return Valencia CF to the top.

That summer, Roig brings two world champions: center midfielder Iomar do Nascimento “Mazinho” and the winning coach of the USA 94 World Cup, Carlos Alberto Parreira. In addition (among others) they bring Otero and Engonga from Celta, Romero, Poyatos and Salenko (World Cup top scorer) from Logroñés, Maqueda from Real Madrid and Juan Carlos and Andoni Zubizarreta from FC Barcelona.

The project did not finish starting in its first season. Tenth in the qualifying table, the poor results in the league and the poor game in the first leg of the cup semifinals against Albacete at Mestalla cost Parreira his job. As usually happens in these cases, a man from the house was in charge of putting out the fire: José Manuel Rielo. The Setabense coach put the team in the final and was very close to lifting the title.

The way

It begins with Valencia CF in the Canary Islands and specifically in Fuerteventura against a third division, Corralejo. The peculiar characteristics of the local stadium, the Vicente Carreño, were of such a caliber that its surface was made of volcanic sand, very different from those surfaces on which elite football is played and the play was about to come out expensive for the Valencianists . The first eleven was formed by Sempere; Serer, Romero, Maqueda, Bottle, Engonga, Arroyo, Álvaro, Eloy, Penev and Salenko. Parreira’s men took the lead early on with a free-kick goal from Pepe Gálvez in the 15th minute. But little by little the locals took the air out of the game and turned it around. René in the 24th minute and Coca in the 31st put Parreira’s men against the ropes, who were stretching to equalize and had their best player in Sempere to avoid a greater difference in the scoreboard with each local against. 20 minutes from the end, Carlos Arroyo’s free kick tied the game. The second leg had no history with Valencian victory 5-0 Fernando, Salenko (who missed a penalty) and a hat trick by Lubo Penev sealed a match whose only anecdote is that it was played in Castalia for Mestalla serving a closing match due to suspension.

The Salamanca of the second division was the next rival. Another tie with a bad first leg fixed in Mestalla. Defeat 2-1 at El Helmántico that could have been worse since the locals came to be 2-0 with goals from Quico and Díaz (minutes 8 and 29). Pepe Gálvez reappeared in the 36th minute to promote an affordable comeback in Mestalla. In the lap, Fernando, Camarasa and Álvaro finished off the job in 65 minutes without further history. The next rival was the one who was going to throw the team into the competition. Real Madrid was waiting.

A Madrid launched in the league and that would ultimately be champion of the regular tournament was surprised by a Valencia that started a 1-2 at the Bernabéu. Two goals from Salenko in his best performance as a Valencianista in the 27th and 55th minutes neutralized Raúl’s initial goal in the 11th minute. On the return Parreira was clear, the double value of the goals in the opposite field forced the madridistas to score at least two goals in Mestalla. The plan was to lock himself in the back, let the minutes pass and Madrid open up to catch him on the counterattack. The plan was well founded, but the staff began to lose their shirt when Laudrup put Real Madrid ahead in the 11th minute. Still, Valencia was patient and disciplined, and ended up getting its fruits. Mijatovic in 86 and Fernando in 90 turned the score around to eliminate Madrid and give Paco Roig his first magical night at Mestalla as president.

The quarterfinals offered -a priori- a less uncomfortable tie against another second division, Mallorca. The first leg on Balearic ground was complicated for Parreira’s men who were better but ended up losing 1-0 with a night of fateful aim. The second leg was something else with the support of Mestalla, at minute 4 Pedja Mijatovic had already equalized the tie. Penev in minute 40 put the Valencianists free, accompanied by the third Fernando Gómez in minute 54 and Lubo finished off again in minute 86. 4-0 and to the semifinals. Next rival, Albacete.

However, that tie was the grave for coach Carlos Alberto Parreira. The first leg at Mestalla ended 1-1 and miraculously with a much superior Albacete. The team (which had already been stuck in the league) did not give a better face in the Cup either. Sala in the 24th minute put the Manchegos ahead and Lubo Penev tied from the penalty spot for an inoperative Valencia that aroused shouts in the stands against Parreira technician. The next morning Paco Roig and Jesús Martínez made the decision, Parreira ceased to be the coach and his replacement would be José Manuel Rielo

The coach from Setabense raised a very good game in the Carlos Belmonte and on the counter beat Benito Floro’s team. Robert in the 28th minute after an assist from Mendieta and Penev in the 72nd, culminating in a manual counterattack, made it 0-2, and although the locals closed the gap 4 minutes later through Dertycia, when Soriano Aladrén whistled the end of the match, on 1 -2 on the scoreboard put Valencia CF in a cup final 17 years later.

The finals)

And the most curious thing about that day is that the day dawned torrid in Madrid, bordering on 30 degrees. It was normal, it was June 24 and the heat was the most logical thing. However, the rain would appear unleashed to the point of causing, for the first and only time in the history of the competition, the suspension of the final leg of the match and its resumption several days later.

The previous days were very busy. In addition to a tremendous mess with the distribution of tickets, with clashes of players from the squad with Paco Roig himself inside the offices and the police putting order before a furious fan who almost stormed the old offices located on Avenida of Aragon.

But worse was the Mijatovic. Authentic flag of the attack together with Lubo Penev, he was injured 14 days before the final after the penultimate round of the league against Compostela. Fiber breakage that endangered his contest in the final. The club takes – in collusion with the footballer – the option of going to a very controversial Dutch physio Dick Van Toorn. His methods, extreme but valid, break the footballer’s pain threshold so that even if the injury continues he does not notice the discomfort it causes him.

So Valencia appeared with this handicap in the final but the Yugoslav even then reached that match. A match in which Deportivo also arrived in high demand. Arsenio’s super Depor had been scoring good seasons after a large investment, but the titles did not arrive. The rumor in Galician lands was that if a title did not arrive soon, the money faucet would not last much longer.

So on June 24 (Saturday), Madrid’s José María García Aranda from Encinar Valencia and Deportivo de La Coruña met with arbitration at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Rielo’s team started with Zubizarreta in goal, Mendieta, Camarasa, Giner and Juan Carlos in defence. Mazinho, Robert, Poyatos and Fernando in midfield, and Penev and Mijatovic in attack. On behalf of Deportivo de La Coruña, Arsenio Iglesias put Liaño under the sticks, Voro, Djukic and Ribera as central defenders with Nando and López Rekarte on the wings. Donato, Fran and Aldana in midfield and Bebeto and Manjarín up front.

The game begins with Valencia very nervous and Depor more involved in the game. In this way, and in the 36th minute, Giner lost the ball to Manjarín, who beat Zubizarreta head-to-head. With that 1-0 the game would go to the locker room. But after the break mole would change.

The clouds were covering the Bernabéu, while the soccer sun was rising for Rielo’s men who gradually took control of the game and accumulated opportunities.

By that start of the second half it had already begun to discharge water, although the intensity would increase to levels almost never seen in the Spanish capital at that time.

And when the downpour began to be intense, Valencia had a foul on the edge of the area in the 25th minute of the second half. Mijatovic showed his expertise in this luck by placing the ball far from Liaño’s reach despite the weight of the ball due to the falling water at that point in the match; tied at one twenty minutes from the end.

Valencia at that point was more comfortable and reached better, but the water fell harder and harder until it formed a curtain of water that barely impeded vision and the ball rolled.

And in this way, García Aranda decreed the suspension -in principle momentary- of the match in the 79th minute. They decided to wait, but things got worse with hail, so they had no choice but to agree with the teams to resume the final 3 more days afternoon. What remained of the final (as indicated by the regulations) would be played on the 27th (Tuesday).

The restart was an odyssey. For many Valencianistas who could not go because it was played on a weekday and for many others who could not prove that they had been at the Bernabeu three days ago since the rain soaked the fans’ clothes and many lost their tickets there. As if all this were not enough, a poor coordination of the event caused kilometric queues in La Castellana with which many buses did not even get to see the final ten minutes. Others came to see Fran lift the trophy and the least fair with Alfredo’s header that split the illusions of Valencianism in two.

The play is well remembered, the ball into the area with a mistake by Juan Carlos, in the mark that leaves only Alfredo Santaelena. Zubi tries to get out when he realizes the mistake to clear his fists, but he is late. 2-1 and a trophy for Depor.

In the spirit of the Valencian squad there was always the idea that if the final had not been suspended, it would have fallen on the Valencian side. An impossible hypothesis to prove, but that does not seem far-fetched. Valencianism with great regret wondered when the next final would come after having been 16 years without stepping on any. Little did they know that the best dance of their lives was yet to come just 4 years later…

(Next Tuesday, chapter III: 1999, La Cartuja, el Piojo and the beginning of an era)