Elche Club de Fútbol, S.A.D. (Valencian: Elx Club de Futbol, S.A.D.) is a Spanish football team based in Elche, Province of Alicante, in the Valencian Community. Founded in 1923, the club competes in La Liga, holding home matches at Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero, with a capacity of 33,732 seats.[3]

Elche
Elche CF logo.svg
Full nameElche Club de Fútbol, S.A.D.
Nickname(s)Los Franjiverdes / Els frangiverds (The Green-striped ones)
Los Ilicitanos / Els Ilicitans (The Ones from Elche)
Founded1923; 99 years ago (1923)[1]
GroundEstadio Manuel Martínez Valero
Capacity33,732[2]
OwnerChristian Bragarnik
PresidentJoaquín Buitrago Marhuenda
Head coachFrancisco
LeagueLa Liga
2021–22La Liga, 13th of 20
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Founded in 1923 as the result of a merger between all of the town's clubs, Elche entered the league system in 1929, reaching Segunda División in 1934 and La Liga in 1959, finishing fifth in the latter tournament in 1963–64. The club were runners-up in the Copa del Rey in 1969. Elche became the first and only club in the history of La Liga to be relegated due to unpaid tax debts in the 2014–15 season. Elche returned to La Liga in 2020–21 after being promoted to the Segunda División and then La Liga in only three seasons.

HistoryEdit

Foundation and early yearsEdit

Elche Club de Fútbol was founded in the summer of 1923, after the merger of all of the town's football teams. The club's first-ever game was against Monóvar, where they beat the home team 4–0, and its first official match was a 2–0 win over Crevillente. In its first years Elche, like many teams of the time, played in an all white uniform.[4] The team played its first league season in 1929–30, in the Tercera División, achieving promotion to the Segunda División in 1934. However, Elche suffered relegation for the first time six years later, but were promoted back the following season.

In the late 1950s, Elche achieved two consecutive promotions from the third level to La Liga, securing the club's first promotion to the latter competition with a 3–0 success against Tenerife in 1959.

1959–78: La LigaEdit

Elche opened its first season in the top level with a 1–1 draw against Real Oviedo, the first goal being scored by Vicente Pahuet. The club finished tenth out of 16 sides, nine points ahead of relegated Osasuna – the campaign included a 2–1 comeback home victory over Barcelona, but also a 2–11 loss at Real Madrid. The following season saw the team having to compete in the relegation/promotion play-off, where it overcame a 0–1 loss in the away leg against Atlético Ceuta with a 4–0 home victory.[5]

Elche achieved their best-ever league finish in 1963–64, ranking in fifth position. The season also saw the club's reserve team, Elche Ilicitano, promote to Segunda División.[6]

In 1969 the club reached their first and only Copa del Rey final, following victories over Pontevedra, Valencia and Real Sociedad. The semi-final against the latter was won 2–0 in a replay in neutral Madrid, as the tie had finished 4–4 on aggregate; the final, played on June 15 at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in the same city, brought a 0–1 loss to Athletic Bilbao.[7]

After twelve seasons Elche were relegated to division two in 1971, having finished second from bottom.[8] Two years later the team returned to the main category, as champions. Its second spell in the top flight lasted five seasons, often immerse in relegation fights as the best campaign (1974–75) ended with the club in eighth position; at the end of 1977–78 the side returned to the second division after finishing 17th out of 18 clubs, the last game being a 4–4 draw with Atlético Madrid, which was led 2–4 with five minutes remaining.[9]

80s and 90s: severe financial crisisEdit

After the relegation in 1978 Elche suffered. Although on paper they had a good team they never managed to gain promotion to the top flight – in fact, in the first five years since their return to the second level, they were fourth on three occasions and fifth on two (and on a further two, even on points with the third-placed team but with a worse goal difference), often losing the chance of promotion on the last matchday. Especially traumatic was the finish of the 1980–81 season: with one game remaining, they were second two points ahead of Rayo Vallecano and Racing de Santander, only needing a draw against Cádiz at the Martínez Valero; the game ended however in a loss, and Elche finished with 45 points alongside Castellón, Cádiz, Racing and Rayo.

A promotion finally occurred at the end of 1983–84, even though Elche only finished fifth in the regular season – the first two positions were occupied by Real Madrid Castilla and Athletic Bilbao B, who could not promote as reserve sides. The whole of the top division campaign was spent in the relegation zone, and relegation consequently befell as 17th. In 1988 they were promoted again for another cameo appearance, as the side went on to finish dead last with eighteen points, dropping down a category alongside Real Murcia, who they trailed by nine points; the last match for years in the category was a 1–3 away loss against Real Zaragoza, the goal coming courtesy of Alfonso Fernández.

After the relegation in 1989, Elche started to suffer heavily in the financial department, and relegated to Segunda División B – the new third level created in 1977 – at the end of 1990–91. During the better part of the 1990s the club reached the second division promotion playoffs, only to consecutively fall short.

In 1997 Elche finally managed to return to the second category, being immediately relegated back but gaining another promotion subsequently.

2010s: return to the top flightEdit

 
Elche squad and fans celebrating the return to La Liga in 2013

In 2010–11, again in the "silver category", the team finished fourth and thus qualified for the play-offs: after disposing of Real Valladolid in the first round (3–2 on aggregate)[10] the dream of top flight promotion ended at the hands of Granada, on the away goals rule.[11]

On May 18, 2013, following Barcelona B and Alcorcón's 1–1 draw, Elche was automatically promoted to the top level, returning to the competition after 24 years.[12] In the meantime the team coached by Fran Escribá had broken a number of Segunda División records, being the only team to date able to lead the competition from the first until the last match of the season, setting in the process a new record of both matches won and points scored to date as well as the best first round in the history of Segunda's championship.[13]

During the 2013–14 season, the team managed to keep in the top competition, with an average attendance to home matches estimated at 25,104 people.[14]

In the 2014–15 season, despite managing once again to keep in the top flight (the team was already safe from relegation four dates before the end of the competition[15]) Elche became the first team ever in the history of the Spanish Primera División being relegated to Segunda following new regulations by the Spanish football league limiting excess debt and economic mismanagement.[15]

In the 2016–17 season, Elche were relegated to third level after 18 years in professional league.

One year later, Elche promoted back to second level after defeating Villarreal B in the final play-off promotion to second level.

In the 2018–19 season, Elche finished right in the middle, on 11th place among 22 teams.[16]

In the 2019–20 season, Elche were promoted to La Liga by beating Girona in the promotion play-off final 1–0 on aggregate. They were promoted back to La Liga after five years in the second and third divisions.[17]

SeasonsEdit

Season to seasonEdit

  • As Elche Football Club
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1929–30 3 2nd Did Not Play
1931–32 3 5th DNP
1932–33 3 2nd DNP
1933–34 3 2nd DNP
1934–35 2 4th Sixth round
1935–36 2 8th First round
1939–40 2 7th DNP
  • As Elche Club de Fútbol
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1940–41 3 1st Second round
1941–42 2 6th First round
1942–43 2 6th DNP
1943–44 3 1st DNP
1944–45 3 1st DNP
1945–46 3 2nd DNP
1946–47 3 2nd DNP
1947–48 3 1st Third round
1948–49 3 2nd Second round
1949–50 2 14th First round
1950–51 3 6th DNP
1951–52 3 13th DNP
1952–53 3 16th DNP
1953–54 3 3rd DNP
1954–55 3 1st DNP
1955–56 3 3rd DNP
1956–57 3 1st DNP
1957–58 3 1st DNP
1958–59 2 1st Round of 32
1959–60 1 10th Semi-finals
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1960–61 1 14th Round of 32
1961–62 1 8th Round of 16
1962–63 1 8th Round of 16
1963–64 1 5th Round of 32
1964–65 1 8th Round of 32
1965–66 1 6th Quarter-finals
1966–67 1 9th Semi-finals
1967–68 1 11th Quarter-finals
1968–69 1 9th Runner-up
1969–70 1 11th Round of 32
1970–71 1 15th Round of 16
1971–72 2 4th Fourth round
1972–73 2 2nd Fourth round
1973–74 1 14th Round of 32
1974–75 1 8th Fourth round
1975–76 1 15th Round of 32
1976–77 1 11th Round of 16
1977–78 1 17th Third round
1978–79 2 5th Round of 16
1979–80 2 4th Fifth round
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1980–81 2 4th Third round
1981–82 2 4th Round of 16
1982–83 2 7th Third round
1983–84 2 5th Second round
1984–85 1 17th Second round
1985–86 2 4th Second round
1986–87 2 4th First round
1987–88 2 2nd Round of 32
1988–89 1 20th Round of 32
1989–90 2 14th Second round
1990–91 2 17th Round of 16
1991–92 3 2ª B 4th Second round
1992–93 3 2ª B 3rd Second round
1993–94 3 2ª B 12th Fourth round
1994–95 3 2ª B 6th First round
1995–96 3 2ª B 3rd First round
1996–97 3 2ª B 2nd First round
1997–98 2 19th Second round
1998–99 3 2ª B 3rd Second round
1999–2000 2 15th Prelim. round
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
2000–01 2 18th Round of 64
2001–02 2 5th Round of 64
2002–03 2 16th Round of 64
2003–04 2 14th Round of 64
2004–05 2 10th Round of 16
2005–06 2 14th First round
2006–07 2 10th Third round
2007–08 2 10th Round of 32
2008–09 2 12th Round of 32
2009–10 2 6th Second round
2010–11 2 4th Third round
2011–12 2 11th Third round
2012–13 2 1st Second round
2013–14 1 16th Round of 32
2014–15 1 13th Round of 16
2015–16 2 11th Second round
2016–17 2 21st Third round
2017–18 3 2ª B 3rd Round of 32
2018–19 2 11th Third round
2019–20 2 6th Round of 32
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
2020–21 1 17th Round of 32
2021–22 1 13th Round of 16
2022–23 1

Current squadEdit

As of 1 February 2022.[18]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   ESP Kiko Casilla (on loan from Leeds United)
2 MF   ESP Gerard Gumbau
3 DF   CHI Enzo Roco
4 DF   ESP Diego González
5 DF   ESP Gonzalo Verdú (captain)
6 DF   ESP Pedro Bigas
7 FW   ARG Guido Carrillo
8 MF   ESP Raúl Guti
9 FW   ARG Lucas Boyé
10 FW   ESP Pere Milla
11 MF   ESP Tete Morente
12 DF   URU Lucas Olaza (on loan from Valladolid)
No. Pos. Nation Player
13 GK   ESP Édgar Badía
14 DF   COL Helibelton Palacios
15 MF   ARG Javier Pastore
16 MF   ESP Fidel
17 MF   ESP Josan
18 FW   ARG Ezequiel Ponce (on loan from Spartak Moscow)
19 DF   ESP Antonio Barragán
20 MF   ARG Pablo Piatti
21 MF   ESP Omar Mascarell
22 DF   COL Johan Mojica
23 MF   ARG Iván Marcone
24 MF   ESP Kike Pérez (on loan from Valladolid)

Reserve teamEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
26 MF   ESP John Nwankwo
27 DF   ESP Carles Marco
28 GK   ESP Lluis Andreu
29 FW   ESP Diego Bri
No. Pos. Nation Player
30 DF   ESP Sergio Bono
31 DF   ESP Lilian
32 FW   ESP Cheikh Diamanka
34 MF   ESP José Luis Friaza

Out on loanEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   ARG Axel Werner (at Arsenal de Sarandí until 30 June 2022)
DF   ESP José Salinas (at Unionistas de Salamanca until 30 June 2022)
DF   ESP Josema (at Valladolid until 30 June 2022)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   ESP Jony Álamo (at Cultural Leonesa until 30 June 2022)
FW   ESP Manu Justo (at Racing Santander until 30 June 2022)
FW   MAR Mourad El Ghezouani (at Alcoyano until 30 June 2022)

Coaching staffEdit

Position Staff
Head coach   Francisco
Assistant coach   Jaime Ramos
Goalkeeping coach   Miguel Escalona
Fitness coach   Fidel Agulló
Fitness coach   Sergio Pardo
Fitness coach   Miguel Villagrasa
Analyst   José Manuel Rodríguez Ortega

Last updated: November 2021
Source: Elche CF

HonoursEdit

Segunda División

Copa del Rey

International playersEdit

CoachesEdit

Reserve teamEdit

Elche's reserve team, Elche Ilicitano, was founded in 1932. It managed to spend two seasons in the second division, when the main squad was in the top flight.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Elche CF – Profile".
  2. ^ "ESTADIO MARTÍNEZ VALERO | Elche". Archived from the original on December 22, 2015.
  3. ^ "ESTADIO MARTÍNEZ VALERO | Elche". www.elchecf.es. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015.
  4. ^ "La historia del Club | Elche - Web Oficial". La historia del Club | Elche - Web Oficial (in Spanish). Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  5. ^ "Spain, Final Tables 1959–1969".
  6. ^ Spain 1963/64; at RSSSF
  7. ^ Spain – Cup 1969; at RSSSF
  8. ^ Spain 1970/71; at RSSSF
  9. ^ Spain 1977/78; at RSSSF
  10. ^ El Elche está en la final contra el Granada (3–1) (Elche is in the final against Granada (3–1)) Archived August 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine; Info Expres, June 12, 2011 (in Spanish)
  11. ^ El Granada asciende a Primera a costa del Elche (Granada promotes to Primera at Elche's expense); RTVE, June 18, 2011 (in Spanish)
  12. ^ "¡El Elche ya es de Primera!" [Elche already a Primera team!] (in Spanish). Marca. May 18, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  13. ^ "Ascenso del Elche en MARCA.com – Un líder de principio a fin".
  14. ^ "La afición del Elche, la tercera que más crece del mundo".
  15. ^ a b Cudeiro, Juan L. (June 5, 2015). "El Elche desciende a Segunda; el Eibar mantiene la categoría". El País.
  16. ^ "Jornada 42 de Segunda División, Temporada 2018/2019 - liga smartbank, segunda division, campeonato nacional de liga de segunda división, segunda division española, laliga 2 española". www.resultados-futbol.com. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  17. ^ "Elche win playoff to return to La Liga after long saga". ESPN. August 24, 2020.
  18. ^ "Plantilla Elche CF" (in Spanish). Elche CF. Retrieved October 5, 2020.

External linksEdit