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Liga Deportiva Universitaria (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈliɣa ðepoɾˈtiβa uniβeɾsiˈtarja]), often referred to as Liga de Quito, LDU, is an Ecuadorian professional football club based in Quito. They play in the Serie A, the highest level of the Ecuadorian professional football league. They play their home games at the Estadio Rodrigo Paz Delgado, more commonly referred to as Casa Blanca. Rival clubs include Quito-based clubs El Nacional, Deportivo Quito, Aucas and Universidad Católica.
|Full name||Liga Deportiva Universitaria|
|Founded||1918 (100 years ago)|
|Ground||Estadio Rodrigo Paz Delgado (Casa Blanca)|
|Honorary President||Rodrigo Paz|
Liga Deportiva Universitaria has its roots in the semi-pro sports teams in 1918 competing as “Universitario” at the Central University of Ecuador, and was officially founded on January 11 of 1930. They began making an impact in the provincial leagues, winning nine Pichincha titles (six in the professional era). Their provincial success continued into the national league, where they have won 11 national title (4th overall) having won their most recent title in 2018. They are the most successful Ecuadorian club in international competitions, where they were the first Ecuadorian club to win the Copa Libertadores (2008), the Copa Sudamericana (2009), and the Recopa Sudamericana (2009 and 2010). They are one of only six teams —Boca Juniors, Independiente, River Plate, Internacional and São Paulo being the other five— to have achieved the CONMEBOL treble, winning all three continental club tournaments. LDU is the only team to win all three mentioned cups one after another between the years 2008 to 2010 causing them to be rated as the best South American team of 2008 and 2009. Liga de Quito was additionally the runner-up at the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup.
Creation and early years (1930–1954)Edit
Liga de Quito's roots lie in a semi-pro sports team based out of the Central University of Ecuador on October 23rd of 1918, headed by Dr. César Jácome Moscoso. Under the leadership of Dr. Bolívar León, the club was officially founded on January 11, 1930. In the early days, Liga participated in a variety of disciplines, including soccer, basketball, athletics, boxing, baseball, swimming, ping-pong, and chess. The club's initial budget was about 500 sucres. The first team's players were students from the university, and had to pay for their own uniforms, medicines, and expenses. Dr. León designed the first uniform, placing its crest, a white "U" on an inverted red and blue triangle, on a white shirt, honoring the team's beginnings at the university. Amongst Liga's first players were Carlos Andrade Marín, Oswaldo Mosquera, Alfonso Cevallos, Alfonso Troya and "El Mono" Icaza.
In 1932, Liga won their first football title at an amateur Pichincha tournament; there was no national amateur league at the time. Five teams participated: Liga, Gladiador, Gimnástico, Atlético, and Cleveland. Liga won all their games, and in the final match, played at the Estadio El Ejido, defeated Gladiador by a score of 4–0. Playing for Liga were Jorge Zapater, Eduardo Flores, Alfonso Cevallos, César González, Jorge Vallarino, Jorge Naranjo, Bolívar "Ñato" León, Alejandro Dávalos, Humberto Yáñez, Humberto Freire, and Ernesto Guevara, with Bolívar León as coach. Liga would also win amateur titles in 1952 and 1953, before the league turned professional the following year.
Beginning of professional era (1954–1966)Edit
By 1955, the amateur football association in Pichincha had evolved into the Asociación de Fútbol No Amateur de Pichincha (English: Pichincha Non-Amateur Football Association), which subsequently organized a professional league for their member clubs from Quito and Ambato. The inaugural Campeonato Professional Interandino (English: Inter-Andean Professional Championship) was held in 1954. Liga won the league's first title, under the management of Lucho Vásquez. The club finished as the runner-up in 1955 and 1956, before winning again in 1958 under Argentine Roberto Ortega. The club won four titles during the 1960s, in 1960, 1961, 1966, and 1967, and finished as runner-up in 1962, 1963, and 1964. Liga had the most successful run of any professional Interandino-era club, accumulating a total of 6 regional titles.
In 1957 and from 1960 onwards, winning the Interandino title qualified a team to participate in a tournament which crowned a national champion of Ecuadorian professional football. Liga first participated in 1960, after winning the Interandino cup that year. The team's three subsequent Interandino victories did not lead to a national title; the club's best performance was a third-place finish in 1964.
Foreign players became integral to the squad during the 1960s. International players included Paulista José Gomes Nogueira in 1960, Chilean Román Soto in 1961, and Paraguayan José María Ocampo in 1966.
National success, relegation, and comeback (1967–1989)Edit
In 1967, all regional tournaments were discontinued in favor of a single national tournament. Liga won its first national championship in 1969, one year after joining the new league, under the leadership of Brazilian José Gomes Nogueira. Liga's ranks at the time included Francisco "El Tano" Bertocchi, Jorge Tapia, Armando "Tito" Larrea, Carlos Ríos, Santiago Alé, Enrique Portilla, and Ramiro Tobar. Liga's victory granted the club its first Copa Libertadores participation in 1970, where it reached the second phase of the tournament, with '"El Tano" Bertocchi tying for the title of top goalscorer of the tournament.
Liga's success was short-lived; in 1972, the club finished seventh of the eight teams participating in the Serie A. At the time, only four teams from the province of Pichincha could play in the top flight. As the worst-performing Pichincha team, Liga took part in a playoff match against the best-performing Pichincha team in Serie B, Universidad Católica, for a berth in the next season's Serie A tournament. Liga lost the match, relegating it to Serie B for the 1973 season, at the end of which the club faced a second relegation, down to the Segunda Categoria of Ecuadorian football. The club was able to gain promotion back to the Serie B in time for the 1974 season. After winning the first stage of the 1974 Serie B, Liga returned to the Serie A after two years in the lower flights. Liga's rise continued as the team won their second national title after defeating El Nacional. The success was followed by another title win in 1975, marking Liga's first back-to-back national championships. Liga's 1975 and 1976 Copa Libertadores participations saw the squad twice reach the semifinals of the continental tournament. Key to Liga's success were players Polo Carrera, Oscar Zubía, Jorge Tapia, Gustavo Tapia, Walter Maesso, Juan Carlos Gómez, Ramiro Tobar, Juan José Pérez, and Roberto Sussman, along with Colombian coach Leonel Montoya. Liga would round out the decade with a runners-up finish in 1977, allowing for another Copa Libertadores participation in 1978.
In contrast to the team's good performances after coming back from relegation, the 1980s were a dismal decade for the club. Liga's best performance during that period was a runners-up finish in 1981, and a subsequent Copa Libertadores participation in 1982. Player Paulo Cesar was the top Serie A goalscorer in 1981.
Rise to powerhouse status (1990–present)Edit
In the two decades since 1990, Liga enjoyed a period of domestic success. They started the 1990s with a national title, edging established powerhouse Barcelona. Before the end of the decade, Liga won two more national titles in 1998 and 1999. The 1998 title was won the year Liga inaugurated their new stadium, La Casa Blanca, and ended with an impressive 7–0 win over Emelec.
In 2000, the club experienced a period of crisis. This crisis resulted in a poor performance in the national league and Liga was relegated to the Serie B that season. The club managed to bounce back from relegation and won the Serie B in 2001 to gain promotion back to the Serie A. Two years later in 2003, Liga won their 7th national title. Liga added another three more national titles in 2005 Apertura, 2007, 2010 and the most recent in 2018 to bring their current count to eleven, placing them fourth all-time domestically.
International success (2008–present)Edit
Prior to 2008, Liga had participated in sixteen international/continental tournaments. Their best success in South American football at the beginning of 2008 was reaching the semifinals of the 1975 Copa Libertadores, the 1976 Copa Libertadores, and the 2004 Copa Sudamericana.
On July 2, 2008, Liga became the first-ever Ecuadorian team to win the Copa Libertadores, after defeating Fluminense by 3–1 in a penalty shootout, after being level after extra time. Liga's Libertadores title gained the club an automatic berth in the semi-finals of the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup, becoming the first non-Argentine or Brazilian CONMEBOL squad to participate in the tournament. Liga defeated Pachuca by 2–0 in their semifinal match, advancing to the final against 2007-08 UEFA Champions League winners Manchester United. Liga lost the final, which was played on December 21 at Yokohama, Japan, by a score of 1–0.
In June 2009, Liga, as the 2008 Copa Libertadores champion, participated in the 2009 Recopa Sudamericana against the 2008 Copa Sudamericana champion Internacional of Porto Alegre, Brazil. Liga won the first leg, played at Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre, by a score of 1–0, with a goal from Claudio Bieler. In the second leg, played at La Casa Blanca, Liga won 3–0 with goals from Carlos Espínola, Claudio Bieler, and Enrique Vera. The 2009 Recopa title was Liga's second international title, as well as being the second international title ever achieved by any Ecuadorian club.
Soon after the Recopa victory, Liga earned their third international trophy in their history, the 2009 Copa Sudamericana. In a rematch of the 2008 Copa Libertadores Final, Liga edged Fluminense with a better goal difference over two legs by winning impressively at home 5–1 and losing 3–0 in Rio de Janeiro. On their way to the finals, they disposed of important clubs from all over South America, such as Libertad of Paraguay, Argentine clubs Lanús and Vélez Sarsfield, and Uruguayan club River Plate.
With the Copa Sudamericana title, Liga is one of three teams to have won CONMEBOL's treble. Liga achieved this feat in exactly 17 months, less than the other clubs to have done that. Additionally, they qualified to play in the 2010 Recopa Sudamericana against Argentine club Estudiantes de La Plata. They won the first leg 2–1 with both goals coming from Hernán Barcos. The win at home in the first leg was enough to secure the title after both team drew the second leg 0–0. Liga became the third team to win back-to-back Recopa Sudamericanas.
Liga has used four stadiums for their home stadium. Their first stadium was Estadio Universitario César Aníbal Espinoza, on the grounds of the Universidad Central del Ecuador. In 1932, Liga moved to Estadio El Ejido, where a number of other teams in Quito used as a home ground. In 1962, Liga moved to Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa, along with a number of other teams from the city. They would use that stadium as a home ground until 1996.
In 1997, LDU inaugurated their own stadium, Estadio Casa Blanca, in the northern part of the city. It is the largest stadium in Quito in terms of capacity, and the second largest in Ecuador after the Estadio Monumental Banco Pichincha in Guayaquil. The stadium officially opened on March 6, 1997 in a match against Brazilian club Atlético Mineiro. Liga won the match 3–1.
Since its inauguration, the Casa Blanca has been home to Liga's greatest period of success and is often unbeatable at the stadium. They have had six victory laps (vueltas olimpicas) in the stadium since it was inaugurated for five national titles and one international title (two national title and three international titles were sealed elsewhere in the same time period). Barcelona, Ecuador's most popular and successful team nationally, has never defeated Liga in their new stadium.
|Recopa Sudamericana||2009, 2010|
|FIFA Club World Cup||2008|
|Suruga Bank Championship||2010|
|Ecuadorian Serie A||1969, 1974, 1975, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005 Apertura, 2007, 2010, 2018||1977, 1981, 2008, 2015|
|Ecuadorian Serie B||1974, 2001||1978|
LDU Quito has formed a number of footballing rivalries throughout its history. Their longest-standing rivalry is with Aucas, a southern Quito club founded in 1945, making the two clubs the oldest in the city still in existence. Liga-Aucas matches are referred to as El Superclásico de Quito (English: The Quito Super Derby), and the rivalry traces its history back to the first match on February 1, 1945, which ended in a 1–1 tie. A second match, played on February 18, 1945, ended in a 2–2 draw. At the end of the 90 minutes, the game was 2–1; the timekeeper ended the match, but the referee did not notice, allowing the game to continue into extra time, where Aucas equalized the score.
Rivalry with El NacionalEdit
Due to the little importance that the Superclásico de Quito has at present, this party has started to position itself as the most important of the capital Ecuadorian. Liga de Quito and El Nacional star in the team match Quito with more national titles, 11 for Liga de Quito and 13 for El Nacional. The first match was in 1964 which ended with a El Nacional 1-0 victory. Both teams played the finals of 1974 and 1999 by national championship, resulting Liga de Quito champion both times.
In the absence of intense rivalry with Aucas, Liga and its fans developed a strong rivalry with Deportivo Quito. The Clásico Capitalino (English: Capital Derby) was the most important game in Quito and was considered a "must win" game of the season. In 2008 and 2009, the match had national championship implications that exacerbated the rivalry to a greater degree.
Current squad of Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito
Manager: Pablo Repetto
LDU has had six players become the season top-scorer in the Serie A, five players become the top-scorer in the Campeaonato Profesional Interandino, three players as the top-scorer in the Copa Libertadores, one player become the top-scorer in the Copa Sudamericana, and one player become the top-scorer in the Copa CONMEBOL. The team's all-time top scorer is José Vicente Moreno, with 84 goals.
World Cup playersEdit
The following players were chosen to represent their country at the FIFA World Cup while contracted to LDU Quito.
The following managers won at least one trophy when in charge of LDU Quito, in addition to the first manager:
- Bolívar León (first manager)
- César Jácome Moscoso (won the 1932 amateur Pichincha)
- Luis Vásquez (won the 1952 & 1953 amateur Pichincha and the 1954 Interandino)
- Roberto Eliseo Ortega (won the 1958 Interandino)
- José Gomes Nogueira (won the 1960 Interandino and the 1969 Serie A)
- Román Soto Vergara (won the 1961 Interandino)
- José María Ocampo (won the 1966 & 1967 Interandino)
- Leonel Montoya (won promotion in 1973 and won the 1974 and 1975 Serie A)
- Polo Carrera (won the 1990 Serie A)
- Paulo Massa (won the 1998 Serie A)
- Manuel Pellegrini (won the 1999 Serie A)
- Julio Asad (won the 2001 Serie B and promotion to the Serie A)
- Jorge Fossati (first tenure, won the 2003 Serie A; second tenure, won the 2009 Recopa Sudamericana and 2009 Copa Sudamericana)
- Juan Carlos Oblitas (won the 2005 Apertura)
- Edgardo Bauza (first tenure, won the 2007 Serie A and 2008 Copa Libertadores; second tenure, won the 2010 Recopa Sudamericana and the 2010 Serie A)
- Pablo Repetto (won the 2018 Serie A)
LDU is one of the most successful clubs in the history of Ecuadorian football, with nine regional titles, eleven national titles, and four international titles. Liga won three amateur titles in the Interandino amateur era, tying them for third overall with Gimnástico. In the Interandino's professional era, Liga won six titles, which makes them the most successful team. Nationally, the club has won 11 national titles, the last one in 2018. Their national title count places them fourth overall behind Barcelona with 15 titles, Emelec with 14 titles and El Nacional 13 titles. Liga is the Ecuadorian club who have won more international titles, with four of them.
- Campeonato Amateur del Fútbol de Pichincha (3): 1932, 1952, 1953
- Campeonato Professional Interandino (6): 1954, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1966, 1967
- Serie A (11): 1969, 1974, 1975, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005 Apertura, 2007, 2010, 2018
- Serie B (2): 1974 E1, 2001
|Serie A||58||2051||873||572||606||3079||2355||+724||3191||51.86%||11||4||4th all-time|
|Copa Libertadores||17||137||51||31||55||193||192||+1||184||44.77%||1||0||Best: Champion (2008)|
|Copa Sudamericana||11||68||32||13||23||104||79||+25||109||53.43%||1||1||Best: Champion (2009)|
|Recopa Sudamericana||2||4||3||1||0||6||1||+5||10||83.33%||2||0||Best: Champion (2009, 2010)|
|FIFA Club World Cup||1||2||1||0||1||2||1||+1||3||50.00%||0||1||Best: Runner-up (2008)|
|Copa Suruga Bank||1||1||0||1||0||2||2||0||1||33.33%||0||1||Best: Runner-up (2010)|
|Copa CONMEBOL||1||4||2||1||1||8||7||+1||7||58.33%||0||0||Best: Quarterfinals (1998)|
Note: All statistics are current as of the end of their last participation.
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- Mamrud, Roberto. "Santander Libertadores of America Cup Historical Table (1960–2010)" (PDF) (in Spanish and English). CONMEBOL. Retrieved August 31, 2011
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