Liga Deportiva Universitaria (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈliɣa ðepoɾˈtiβawniβeɾsiˈtaɾja]), 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.

Liga de Quito
Full nameLiga Deportiva Universitaria
  • Rey de Copas Ecuatoriano (Ecuadorian King of Cups)
  • Albos (The Whites)
  • Los Reyes
  • Centrales
  • La Bordadora
  • Los Merengues (The Merengues)
  • La U (The U)
  • Los Universitarios (The Universitaries)
FoundedOctober 23, 1918; 105 years ago (1918-10-23), as Club Universitario
GroundEstadio Rodrigo Paz Delgado (Casa Blanca)
Honorary PresidentRodrigo Paz
PresidentIsaac Alvarez
ManagerJosep Alcácer
LeagueEcuadorian Serie A
2023Serie A, 1st of 16 (champions)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

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, 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 12 national title (4th overall) having won their most recent title in 2023. 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 2023), 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.

Liga Deportiva Universitaria 1918

History edit

Creation and early years (1918–1954) edit

Liga de Quito's roots lie in a semi-pro sports team based out of the Central University of Ecuador on October 23, 1918, headed by Dr. César Jácome Moscoso. Under the leadership of Dr. Bolívar León, the club was officially founded on January 11, 1930.[2] In the early days, Liga participated in a variety of disciplines, including football, 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.

Liga Deportiva Universitaria 1923
1930 squad

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 García, 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 (Pichincha Non-Amateur Football Association), which subsequently organized a professional league for their member clubs from Quito and Ambato. The inaugural Campeonato Professional Interandino (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 semi-finals 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 four more national titles in 2005 Apertura, 2007, 2010, 2018 and the most recent in 2023 to bring their current count to twelve, 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 semi-finals 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 in the finals on penalties 3–1, after being level on aggregate 5–5 at the end of extra time. Liga's Libertadores title gave the club an automatic berth into 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 semi-final match, advancing to the final against 2007–08 UEFA Champions League winners Manchester United, where Liga lost on December 21 in 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 5–4 on aggregate 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, such as Libertad of Paraguay, Argentine clubs Lanús and Vélez Sarsfield, and Uruguayan club River Plate.

With the Copa Sudamericana title, Liga technically achieved a CONMEBOL treble (Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, Recopa Sudamericana), but since the three titles were not all achieved in the same calendar year, (they were achieved in 17 months), the club narrowly fell short of a traditional treble; Liga would've achieved the treble if they won the 2008 Copa Sudamericana, and even though their Recopa Sudamericana win was in 2009, the treble would have still counted because those were the three back-to-back CONMEBOL tournaments.

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 teams drew the second leg 0–0. With this title, Liga became the third team to win back-to-back Recopa Sudamericanas. The victory gave the club the right to play in the 2010 Suruga Bank Championship, which was won by FC Tokyo 4–3 on penalties after a 2–2 draw in August 2010.

Liga also reached the 2011 Copa Sudamericana Finals, which they lost to Universidad de Chile by a global score of 4–0.

In 2023 Liga won its second Copa Sudamericana after defeating Fortaleza Esporte Clube on penalties 4-3, following a 1-1 draw.

Stadium edit

LDU Stadium

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).

Supporters edit

LDU Quito is one of the most supported clubs in Ecuador. According to a recent study, Liga has the largest fanbase in Quito. Their ultras have earned the nicknamed the "Muerte Blanca'' (The White Death).[3]

Rivalries edit

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 (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. In the past two decades an intense rivalry has also formed with Guayaquil based club Barcelona S. C.

Rivalry with El Nacional edit

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 . 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 an El Nacional 1–0 victory. Both teams played the finals of 1974 and 1999 by national championship, resulting Liga de Quito champion both times.

Rivalry with Deportivo Quito edit

In the absence of intense rivalry with Aucas and El Nacional, Liga and its fans developed a strong rivalry with Deportivo Quito.[4] in the 2000's. The Clásico Capitalino (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. This rivalry has largely been put on hold since Deportivo Quito's relegation to the third tier of Ecuador's football league in 2015, where it has been playing ever since.

Rivalry with Fluminense edit

Since Liga's win over brazilian team Fluminense F. C. in the 2008 Copa Libertadores final and the Copa Sudamericana final of the following year, a strong international rivalry has developed between the two teams [5][6] This rivalry reached new heights when the two teams met on a third international final for the 2024 Recopa Sudamericana, which was won by Fluminense. This has been the only case of two CONMEBOL teams facing each other on each of the three continental tournaments.

Players edit

As of 19 February, 2024. 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   ECU Gonzalo Valle
2 DF   ECU Yeltzin Erique
3 DF   ECU Richard Mina
4 DF   HAI Ricardo Adé
5 MF   ECU Óscar Zambrano
6 DF   ARG Facundo Rodríguez
8 MF   ECU Luis Estupiñán
9 FW   ECU Miguel Parrales (on loan from Guayaquil City)
10 FW   ECU Alexander Alvarado
11 FW   ECU Michael Estrada
12 GK   ECU Ethan Minda
13 DF   ECU Daykol Romero
14 DF   ECU José Quintero
15 MF   BOL Gabriel Villamíl (on loan from Club Bolívar)
17 FW   ECU Michael Bermúdez
18 MF   ARG Lucas Piovi
No. Pos. Nation Player
19 FW   PAR Alex Arce
20 MF   ARG Lisandro Alzugaray
21 MF   ECU Sebastián González
22 GK   ECU Alexander Domínguez
23 MF   ECU Juan Macías
24 DF   ARG Andrés Zanini
25 MF   ECU Jefferson Valverde
26 MF   ECU Jhojan Julio
27 FW   VEN Jan Carlos Hurtado (on loan from Boca Juniors)
28 MF   ECU Joseph Espinoza
29 DF   ECU Bryan Ramírez
30 FW   ECU Danny Luna
33 DF   ECU Leonel Quiñónez
34 FW   ECU Ariel Mina
MF   ECU Marco Angulo (on loan from FC Cincinnati)

Out on loan edit

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
DF   ECU Yeltzin Erique (on loan to Orense)
No. Pos. Nation Player

Notable players edit

Top scorers edit

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 Polo Carrera with 92 goals.

N.° Player Seasons Goals
1   Polo Carrera 1960–1965, 1966–1967, 1975–1977, 1979–1980, 1982–1983 y 1984. 92
2   Hernán Barcos 2010–2011 y 2017–2018. 91
3   José Moreno 1981–1987. 87
4    Claudio Bieler 2008–2009 y 2011–2012. 71
5   Patricio Hurtado 1994–2000 y 2002. 69
6   Patricio Urrutia 2003–2009 y 2010–2013. 59
7   Diego Herrera 1985, 1989–1993 y 1995–1996. 55
8   Franklin Salas 2000–2006 y 2007–2010. 52
9   Carlos Berrueta 1990–1992 y 1994. 50
10   Cristian Martínez Borja 2018–2019 y 2020–2021. 49

World Cup players edit

The following players were chosen to represent their country at the FIFA World Cup while contracted to LDU Quito.

Managers edit

Noted managers edit

The following managers won at least one trophy when in charge of LDU Quito, in addition to the first manager:

Honours edit

LDU is one of the most successful clubs in the history of Ecuadorian football, with nine regional titles, twelve national titles, and five 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 12 national titles, the last one in 2023. Their national title count places them fourth overall behind Barcelona with 16 titles, Emelec with 14 titles and El Nacional 13 titles. Liga is the Ecuadorian club who have won more international titles, with five of them.

Regional[11][12] edit

  • Campeonato Amateur del Fútbol de Pichincha (3): 1932, 1952, 1953
  • Campeonato Professional Interandino (6): 1954, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1966, 1967

National[13][14] edit

International[15] edit

Statistics edit

Competition Part Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Champion Runner-up Other info
Serie A 60 2149 918 604 627 3242 2464 +778 3358 11 6 4th all-time, Champion (11 times)
Copa Ecuador 1 10 4 4 2 15 6 +9 16 1 0 Best: Champion (2019)
Supercopa Ecuador 2 3 2 1 0 6 3 +3 7 2 0 Best: Champion (2020. 2021)
Copa Libertadores[16][17] 20 161 62 36 63 238 228 +10 204 1 0 Best: Champion (2008)
Copa Sudamericana[18] 13 80 38 16 26 123 95 +28 130 1 1 Best: Champion (2009)
Recopa Sudamericana 2 4 3 1 0 6 1 +5 10 2 0 Best: Champion (2009, 2010)
FIFA Club World Cup 1 2 1 0 1 2 1 +1 3 0 1 Best: Runner-up (2008)
Copa Suruga Bank 1 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1 0 1 Best: Runner-up (2010)
Copa CONMEBOL[19] 1 4 2 1 1 8 7 +1 7 0 0 Best: Quarterfinals (1998)

Note: All statistics are current as of the end of their last participation.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Ludeña, William (February 27, 2014). "¿Cuál es el aforo de los estadios del Ecuador? – CRE Satelital Radio en Vivo". Archived from the original on January 12, 2017. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  2. ^ "El Club: Historia: El Comienzo – 1930" [The Club: History: The Beginning −1930] (in Spanish). LDU Quito. Archived from the original on December 31, 2011. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  3. ^ <Merizalde, Leonardo. "Historia - Muerte Blanca - LDU". BarraBrava. Retrieved November 15, 2023.
  4. ^ Ribadeneira, Alejandro (April 5, 2010). "Más que un clásico" [More than a derby]. El Comercio (in Spanish). Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  5. ^ "Liga de Quito vs. Fluminense, un clásico sudamericano". Primicias (in Spanish). Retrieved March 29, 2024.
  6. ^ "TODO LO QUE DEBES SABER || Conoce como el duelo entre Liga de Quito y Fluminense se convirtió en un clásico". OneFootball (in Spanish). March 28, 2024. Retrieved March 29, 2024.
  7. ^ Andrés, Juan Pablo; Espinoza Añazco, Fernando (January 29, 2010). "Ecuador – List of Topscorers". RSSSF. Archived from the original on September 3, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  8. ^ Ávila Villagómez, Esteban (March 8, 2007). "Ecuador – Champions and Runners-up Interandinos". RSSSF. Archived from the original on July 14, 2022. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  9. ^ Andrés, Juan Pablo; Pierrend, José Luis (July 10, 2004). "Copa Libertadores – Topscorers". RSSSF. Archived from the original on October 31, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  10. ^ Andrés, Juan Pablo; Pierrend, José Luis (February 8, 2000). "Copa Conmebol Topscorers 1992–1999". RSSSF. Archived from the original on August 10, 2022. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  11. ^ "Época Amateur de Pichincha" [Amateur Era of Pichincha] (in Spanish). LDU Quito. Archived from the original on July 7, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  12. ^ "Fútbol Profesional" [Professional Football] (in Spanish). LDU Quito. Archived from the original on November 28, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  13. ^ "Estadísticas Primera Categoría Serie "A"" [Primera Categoría Serie "A" Statistics] (in Spanish). Ecuadorian Football Federation. Archived from the original on July 23, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  14. ^ "Estadísticas Primera Categoría Serie "B"" [Primera Categoría Serie "B" Statistics] (in Spanish). Ecuadorian Football Federation. Archived from the original on July 23, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  15. ^ "Clubes de Primera Categoría "A"" [Primera Categoría Serie "A" Clubs] (in Spanish). Ecuadorian Football Federation. Archived from the original on October 8, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  16. ^ Mamrud, Roberto. "Santander Libertadores of America Cup Historical Table (1960–2010)" (PDF) (in Spanish and English). CONMEBOL. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 4, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2011. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  17. ^ Lugo, Erik Francisco. "Copa Libertadores de América 2011". RSSSF. Archived from the original on August 4, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  18. ^ Venables, Tim (May 12, 2011). "Copa Sudamericana – All-Time Table 2002-2010". RSSSF. Archived from the original on August 17, 2022. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  19. ^ Pontes, Ricardo (January 4, 2000). "Copa Conmebol All-Time Table 1992-1999". RSSSF. Archived from the original on August 10, 2022. Retrieved August 31, 2011.

External links edit