Unió Esportiva Lleida was a Spanish football team based in Lleida, in the autonomous community of Catalonia. It was founded as Lérida Balompié-AEM on 30 October 1939, and became Unión Deportiva Lérida in 1947, after a merger with CD Leridano. It held home matches at Camp d´Esports, with a 13,500-seat capacity. It was dissolved in 2011. The soul of the club was reformed as Lleida Esportiu.
|Full name||Unió Esportiva Lleida|
|Nickname(s)||Els Blaus (The Blues) |
Els de la Terra Ferma (Firmlanders)
(as Lérida Balompié-AEM)
(as Unión Deportiva Lérida)
|Dissolved||10 May 2011|
|Ground||Camp d´Esports, Lleida,|
During the 1990s the club was managed by Mané, Juande Ramos and Víctor Muñoz, all of whom subsequently became successful managers with other clubs. From 1987 the club organised its own summer trophy, the Ciutat de Lleida Trophy.
Early Lleida football clubsEdit
Football was first introduced to Lleida in 1910 by Manuel Azoz, a Barcelona business man. Among the earliest clubs in the city were Montserrat, founded in 1913 by Marist Brothers, and FC Lleida founded in 1914. Both played their early games in the district of Pla d’en Gardeny. In 1915, the Associació Cultural Lleidatana was founded by Catalan nationalists.
By 1917 two other clubs, Club Colonial and Athlètic Metalúrgic, began playing at the Camp de Mart. In 1918 FC Joventut was formed by left-wing Catalan republicans and during the 1920s they emerged as the city’s strongest side.
In 1919, Lleida became the first club to use the Camp d´Esports, but this team was dissolved in 1927. Other clubs of the 1920s included AE Lleida Calaveres, Lleida Sport Club and AEM Lleida, all of which disappeared during the 1930s.
Lérida Balompié and CD LeridanoEdit
After the Spanish Civil War, former members of AE Lleida Calaveres, Lleida Sport Club and AEM Lleida formed Lérida Balompié-AEM. After playing in regional leagues for four seasons they made their debut in the fourth division in 1943. The following year, the club split into two separate clubs, Lérida Balompié and AEM.
Meanwhile, in 1941 Spanish nationalists formed CD Leridano, and a local rivalry developed between that club and Lérida Balompié. On March 9, 1947, these two sides merged to become Unión Deportiva Lérida. The new team retained both the blue and white colours and club shield of Lérida Balompié, the first president of the new club being Eduard Estadella.
First golden eraEdit
UD Lérida enjoyed a golden age in the late 1940s and early 1950s, when they progressed from the third to the first division in just three seasons. In 1949, they won the third-tier and, the following season, 1949–50, they made their debut in Segunda División.
The club achieved their biggest league in history in this season, 9–2 win against CD Lugo, as it also finished runner-up in the league, which meant promotion to the topflight for the first time ever. However, during its debut season, it was heavily defeated on several occasions: 9–0 to CD Málaga, 10–1 to Deportivo de La Coruña and 10–0 to Athletic Bilbao, being ultimately relegated back. Lleida's first eleven in the first division was: Rivero, Rigau, Telechea, Carrillo, Esquerda, Roca, Gausí, Pellicer, Ramón, Bidegain and Fustero.
The Mané eraEdit
1993–94 was the second topflight experience for the club; in spite of a 1–0 win over the FC Barcelona Dream Team at the Camp Nou, and another against Real Madrid, 2–1 at home, Lleida only won seven times altogether and was relegated once again.
The 1994–95 season saw the club finish third in the second division, with a subsequent promotion play-off defeat against Sporting de Gijón. In 2001, the team returned to level three and, in 2004–05 and the following campaign, played again in the second division. From 1996 and during an entire decade (with some interruptions), legendary player Miguel Ángel Rubio served as its manager.
On 10 May 2011, Lleida was placed in a liquidation auction due to a €28 million debt. On 12 July, the team's seat was acquired by local entrepreneur Sisco Pujol, with the new club being named Lleida Esportiu.
Season to seasonEdit
- Segunda División: 1992–93
- Segunda División B: 1989–90, 2003–04
- Tercera División: 1948–49
- Regional Preferente: 1970–71
- Segunda Regional: 1939–40, 1940–41
- Copa Catalunya: Runner-up 1991–92, 1998–99
- Best league performance: 16th, La Liga, 1950–51
- Best cup performance: Last 16 (six times), 1986, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2005
- Most league points: 68, 2003–04 (three points for a win) 60, 1957–58 (two points for a win)
- Most league goals: 102, 1957–58
- Most league wins in one season: 26, 1957–58
- Best league win home: 9–0 v. Calella, 30 November 1941
- Best league win away: 8–1 v. Europa, 22 February 1942
- Best cup win: 7–0 v. Sant Andreu, 19 December 1985
- Most league appearances: 460, Miguel Rubio (1982–96)
- Most league goals: 82, Mariano Azcona (1984–91)
- Most league goals in a season: 25, Mariano Azcona (1989–90)
- Most league goals in a match: 5, Mariano Azcona 6–1 v. Fraga, 15 October 1989 and Vallejo 7–1 v. Alavés, 23 May 1965
- Most international appearances: 12, Miguel Mea Vitali (Venezuela) (2000–01)
Selected former playersEdit
Only international players or UEFA Champions League winners. Flags represent national teams player appeared for.
- Tito Vilanova
- José Emilio Amavisca (1991–92)
- Estanislao Basora (1955–56)
- Carles Busquets (1999–2003)
- Canito (1975–76)
- Enric Gensana (1954–56)
- Marià Gonzalvo (1955–56)
- Tomás Hernández (1955–56)
- Eladio Silvestre (1960–61)
- Raúl Tamudo (1999)
- Unai Vergara (2005–07)
- Ali Benhalima (1990–93)
- Renaldo (2000–01)
- Mate Bilić (2005–06)
- Søren Andersen (1993–94)
- Goran Stanić (1998–2000)
- Michael Emenalo (1997–98)
- Carlos González (2000–01)
- Melanio Olmedo (1956–57)
- Ilija Stolica (1998–00)
- Dmitri Kuznetsov (1994–95)
- Julio Rodríguez (1995–98)
- Gustavo Matosas (1993–94)
- Manny Lagos (1991–92)
- Miguel Mea Vitali (2000–01)
- Boban Babunski (1994–96)
- Jovan Stanković (2004–05)
- Mauro Ravnić (1992–94)
Selected former coachesEdit
- Sebastià Tàpies: 1939–40
- Joan Porta: 1941–47
- Eduard Estadella: 1947–51
- Llorenç Agustí: 1951–54
- Josep Servat: 1954–57
- Antoni Rocafort: 1957
- Laureà Torres: 1957–60
- Antoni Teixidó: 1960–62
- Ramon Vilaltella: 1962–67
- Josep Jové: 1967–68
- Pere Roig: 1968–69
- Manel Rosell: 1969–70
- Miquel Martínez: 1970–72
- Josep Montañola: 1972–74
- Lluís Nadal: 1974–77
- Josep Esteve: 1977–79
- Joan Planes: 1979–82
- Antoni Gausí: 1982–86
- Màrius Durán: 1986–96
- Josep Lluís González: 1996–97
- Màrius Durán: 1997–98
- Antoni Gausí: 1998–2002
- Miquel Pons: 2002–06
- Xavier Massana: 2006–07
- Ignasi Rivadulla: 2007–10
- Anabel Junyent: 2010–11
- El juez abre el proceso de subasta de la Unió Esportiva Lleida (Judge starts liquidation of Unió Esportiva Lleida); La Vanguardia, 10 May 2011 ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
- El juez resuelve a favor de Sisco Pujol la adjudicación de la UE Lleida (Judge rules UE Lleida's allocation in favor of Sisco Pujol); La Vanguardia, 12 July 2011 ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)