Valletta F.C.

Valletta Football Club is a professional football club based in Valletta, the capital city of Malta, and competes in the Maltese Premier League, the top flight of Maltese football.[1] The club was founded in 1943 after a merge of Valletta Prestons, Valletta St. Paul's and Valletta United, the latter being a two-time league winner before the Second World War.

Valletta
Full nameValletta Football Club
Founded1943 (1943)
Chairman Victor Sciriha
Manager Darren Abdilla
LeagueMaltese Premier League
2018–19Maltese Premier League, 1st
WebsiteClub website

Considered as one of the most supported and successful clubs in Maltese football,[2] the club has won 25 league titles, 14 FA Trophies and a record 12 Super Cups.

History

There is no clear evidence on when Valletta F.C. started, hence the fact that Valletta possessed two clubs at that era. The foundation of Valletta F.C. was laid with the creation of the Valletta United team. Valletta United was known as the "team of the square" since the club was located in St. George's Square. Valletta United represented the city from 1904 to 1932.

The city of Valletta in Malta has a long footballing history, between 1886 and 1919 at some point or another, around fourteen teams had competed representing the city. Amongst these early teams included the popular Boys Empire League, Valletta College, St. George's Square, Dockyard Albion and Malta Athletic Club.

An early step in the history of the current club was the founding of Valletta United Football Club in 1903 by local youngsters. Despite their enthusiasm for the game which had been brought to the island by the British, the youngsters had a rough start with limited supplies. They cut their white trousers into long shorts and dyed their shirts into that of the club colours (brown, with yellow sleeves) for their uniforms.

The Ditch at Porte des Bombes, which itself had been the scene of the first ever recorded Maltese football match in 1886, was chosen to host Valletta United's first match on 9 January 1904.[3] United faced off against a team from the Collegiate School and won 1–0 with a strike from a forward named L. Agius. The full Valletta United team that day included;[3]

 
  • M.H. Laferla (Captain)
  • P. Ferrante
  • E. Galea
 
  • E. Vella
  • L. Agius
  • L. Preziosi
 
  • C. Vella
  • V. Casolani
  • R. Vadala
 
  • V. Camilleri
  • L. Castaldi

The club soon found a more permanent home at St. George's Square, just opposite the Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta; they gained the nickname "the team of the square" because of this. Valletta first gained silverware during the 1914–15 season, when they won both the Cousis Shield and the Maltese League championship, it was only the fifth season the league had been competed in Malta.

Much of Maltese football was dominated by Floriana and Sliema Wanderers up until the Second World War, Valletta attempted to upset the status quo several times; they won the Cousis Shield for the second time in 1920–21 and finished as runners-up in the Maltese League during both 1925–26 and 1926–27. During their last ever season, Valletta United upset the two main clubs in Malta of the time, by winning the Maltese League in 1931–32, however they did not enter the following season.

Although Sliema and Floriana dominated the local scene in those times, by winning these trophies it was Valletta United that started to break into this monopoly and induce greater competition. Valletta United were very active in the Championship of the first division and in fact played 97 games.

During the period that Valletta United played within the Malta Football Association (i.e., from 1909 to 1932), Valletta United won the championship in 1931–32. However, for some reason in the following season, Valletta United disappeared from the football scene and thus the monopoly of Sliema and Floriana football clubs recommenced.

Valletta United was not the only team from the city that played in the highest Division of the M.F.A. In the 1925–26 and the 1926–27 seasons there were Valletta Rovers who played in the highest Division of the M.F.A., then in the season 1937–38 and 1938–39 there was Valletta City.

The winning of five cups in one season

In 1996–97 Valletta F.C. won all five competitions that the Maltese football offers. This was done by succeeding to win the Premier League, Rothmans Trophy, Super Five Cup, Lowenbrau Cup and Super Cup.

The historic season – 2000–01 – Six cups in one season

In the season 2000–01, Valletta F.C. succeeded in breaking their own record from 1996–97. This time they won the six competitions offered by the M.F.A. This particular season there was an additional one, namely the Centenary Cup. It had been added to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the M.F.A.

2007–08: Champions again

Hope for their first trophy in seven years was a huge thought running through Valletta fans in the summer of 2007. Valletta spent a lot of money in the transfer market and expectations were high. Valletta began the season in the worst possible fashion, with a 3–2 defeat to Eternal rivals, Floriana. Valletta's poor start continued with a 1–1 draw against Hibernians, defeat to Sliema, a 0–0 draw with Hamrun Spartans and Msida respectively. However, eventually Valletta hit good form with a 1–0 win over Birkirkara, a 7–0 trashing over champions Marsaxlokk and they gained revenge over Floriana with a 4–0 win on 8 December. After wins over Msida, Mqabba, Hamrun, Sliema and Marsaxlokk the club showed its winning pedigree. Valletta headed to the final round of the season on a high note.

Valletta won their 19th Premier League title after Marsaxlokk failed to beat Birkirkara on Saturday 3 May after a very successful Championship Pool campaign. However, with the title in the bag the long unbeaten streak soon came to an end, and the season ended with a number of defeats. The team also failed to reach the U*Bet F.A. Trophy 2008 final, after losing 4–2 to rivals Birkirkara in the semi-final. But except for the early stages and the post-championship games, Valletta had been the most consistent side.

20th Title

Valletta won the 2010–11 BOV Premier League as an unbeaten team which brought the 20th title to Valletta FC's history.

21st Title (3/4 cups)

Valletta won The 2011–12 BOV Premier League with two matches still to go after beating Sliema Wanderers 3–0, this was the 21st title in the history of Valletta.

They won three cups out of four cups in the domestic league: The 2011–12 BOV Premier League, The 2011–12 Maltese Super Cup, and the Euro Challenge Cup.

Players

Current squad

As of 1 August, 2019[4][5]

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

No. Position Player
1 GK Henry Bonello
2 DF Jonathan Caruana
4 DF Steve Borg
5 DF Ryan Camilleri
6 MF Antonio Monticelli
8 FW Santiago Malano
9 FW Bojan Kaljević
10 FW Matteo Piciollo
11 MF Shaun Dimech
14 FW Kyrian Nwoko
16 MF Jean Borg
No. Position Player
18 DF Enmy Peña
19 DF Joseph Zerafa
21 MF Douglas Packer
22 DF Nicholas Pulis
24 MF Rowen Muscat
41 GK Yenz Cini
88 MF Irakli Dzaria
89 FW Mario Fontanella
92 MF Kevin Tulimieri

Personnel

Coaching staff

Position[4] Staff
Coach Darren Abdilla
Assistant coach Gilbert Agius
Goalkeeping coach Romeo Schembri
Team manager Gerard Ellul
Training assistant Jason Galea Lucas
Physical trainer Karl Sciortino
Physio Oscar Alonso
Kit manager Clint Mizzi

Managerial history

Dates[6] Name
1949–1950 Harry Tedder
1958–1959 Jock Gilmour
1959–1960 William Dingwall
1962–1964 Carm Borg
1968–1970 Tony Formosa
1970–1972 Josie Urpani
1973–1975 Tony Formosa
1976–1977 Terenzio Polverini
1977–1978 Lolly Debattista
1978–1982 John Calleja
1982–1984 Joe Cilia
1986–1988 Tony Formosa
Joe Micallef
1989–1990 George Busuttil
1989–1990 Eddie Vella
1991–1993 Tony Euchar Grech
1993–1994 Lawrence Borg
1994–1995 Joe Cilia
Edward Aquilina
1995–1998 Edward Aquilina
1998–2001 Krasimir Manolov
2001–2002 Georgi Deanov
2003–2004 Atanas Marinov
2004–2005 J.J. Aquilina
2004–2009 Paul Zammit
2009–2010 Ton Caanen
2010–2012 Jesmond Zerafa
2012–2013 Mark Miller
2014 André Paus
2014–2015 Gilbert Agius
Ivan Zammit
2015–2017 Paul Zammit
2015–2017 Zoran Popović
2017– 2019 Danilo Dončić
2019 Gilbert Agius
2019– Darren Abdilla[7]

European record

As of 15 August 2019[8]
CompetitionPlayedWonDrewLostGFGAGDWin%
European Cup / Champions League 45 8 6 31 37 112 −75 017.78
Cup Winners' Cup 14 0 2 12 6 54 −48 000.00
UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League 36 5 7 24 35 80 −45 013.89
UEFA Intertoto Cup 4 0 2 2 3 9 −6 000.00
Total 99 13 17 69 75 255 −180 013.13

Legend: GF = Goals For. GA = Goals Against. GD = Goal Difference.

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1963–64 European Cup PR Dukla Prague 0–2 0–6 0–8
1964–65 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Real Zaragoza 0–3 1–5 1–8
1972–73 UEFA Cup 1R Inter Milan 0–1 1–6 1–7
1974–75 European Cup 1R HJK Helsinki 1–0 1–4 2–4
1975–76 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Haladás VSE 1–1 0–7 1–8
1977–78 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Dynamo Moscow 0–2 0–5 0–7
1978–79 European Cup 1R Grasshopper 3–5 0–8 3–13
1979–80 UEFA Cup 1R Leeds United 0–4 0–3 0–7
1980–81 European Cup PR Budapest Honvéd 0–3 0–8 0–11
1983–84 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Rangers 0–8 0–10 0–18
1984–85 European Cup 1R Austria Wien 0–4 0–4 0–8
1987–88 UEFA Cup 1R Juventus 0–4 0–3 0–7
1989–90 UEFA Cup 1R First Vienna 1–4 0–3 1–7
1990–91 European Cup 1R Rangers 0–4 0–6 0–10
1991–92 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R Porto 0–3 0–1 0–4
1992–93 UEFA Champions League PR Maccabi Tel Aviv 1–2 0–1 1–3
1993–94 UEFA Cup 1R Trabzonspor 1–3 1–3 2–6
1994–95 UEFA Cup PR Rapid București 2–6 1–1 3–7
1995–96 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup QR Inter Bratislava 0–0 2–5 2–5
1996–97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup QR Gloria Bistrița 1–2 1–2 2–4
1997–98 UEFA Champions League 1QR Skonto Riga 1–0 0–2 1–2
1998–99 UEFA Champions League 1QR Anorthosis Famagusta 0–2 0–6 0–8
1999–00 UEFA Champions League 1QR Barry Town 3–2 0–0 3–2
2QR Rapid Wien 0–2 0–3 0–5
2000–01 UEFA Cup 1QR Rijeka 4–5 2–3 6–8 (a.e.t.)
2001–02 UEFA Champions League 1QR Haka 0–0 0–5 0–5
2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup 1R Teuta 1–2 0–0 1–2
2003–04 UEFA Cup 1QR Neuchâtel Xamax 0–2 0–2 0–4
2005 UEFA Intertoto Cup 1R Budućnost Podgorica 0–5 2–2 2–7
2008–09 UEFA Champions League 1QR Artmedia 0–2 0–1 0–3
2009–10 UEFA Europa League 1QR Keflavík 3–0 2–2 5–2
2QR St Patrick's Athletic 0–1 1–1 1–2
2010–11 UEFA Europa League 2QR Ruch Chorzów 1–1 0–0 1–1 (a)
2011–12 UEFA Champions League 1QR Tre Fiori 2–1 3–0 5–1
2QR Ekranas 2–3 0–1 2–4
2012–13 UEFA Champions League 1QR Lusitanos 8–0 1–0 9–0
2QR Partizan 1–4 1–3 2–7
2013–14 UEFA Europa League 1QR Fiorita 1–0 3–0 4–0
2QR Minsk 1–1 0–2 1–3
2014–15 UEFA Champions League 2QR Qarabağ 0–1 0–4 0–5
2015–16 UEFA Europa League 1QR Newtown 1–2 1–2 2–4
2016–17 UEFA Champions League 1QR B36 Tórshavn 1–0 1–2 (a) 2–2
2QR Red Star Belgrade 1–2 1–2 2–4
2017–18 UEFA Europa League 1QR Folgore 2–0 1–0 3–0
2QR FC Utrecht 0–0 1–3 1–3
2018–19 UEFA Champions League 1QR Kukësi 1–1 0–0 1–1 (a)
UEFA Europa League 2QR Zrinjski Mostar 1–2 1–1 2–3
2019–20 UEFA Champions League 1QR F91 Dudelange 1–1 2–2 3–3 (a)
2QR Ferencváros 1–1 1–3 2–4
UEFA Europa League 3QR Astana 1–5 0–4 1–9

Honours

Competition Titles Seasons
Maltese Premier League 25 1914–15[lower-alpha 1], 1931–32[lower-alpha 1], 1944–45, 1945–46, 1947–48, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1962–63, 1973–74, 1977–78, 1979–80, 1983–84, 1989–90, 1991–92, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2007–08, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2018–19
Maltese FA Trophy 14 1959–60, 1963–64, 1974–75, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1990–91, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2009–10, 2013–14, 2017–18
Maltese Super Cup 12 1990, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2018
Cassar Cup 4 1943–44, 1958–59, 1965–66, 1967–68
Super 5 Lottery Tournament 4 1992–93, 1996–97, 1999–2000, 2000–01
Cousis Shield 2 1914–15, 1920–21
Scicluna Cup 2 1960–61, 1963–64
Independence Cup 3 1974–75, 1979–80, 1980–81
Malta Cup 1 1943–44
Testaferrata Cup 1 1979–80
Centenary Cup 1 2000–01
Maltese National League 100 Anniversary Cup 1 2009–10
Euro Challenge Cup 4 1982–83, 1987–88, 1989–90, 2011–12
Löwenbräu Cup 6 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98, 2000–01
Coronation Cup 1 1953–54
Sons of Malta Cup 2 1974–75, 1978–79
Olympic Cup 1 1962–63
Melita Cup 1 1911
Ranger's Cup 1 1914
Poppy Day Fund Cup 1 1960–61
BetFair Cup 1 2008
Mare Blue Cup 2 2010–11, 2011–12
Doubles: League & Trophy in the same season 8 1914–15, 1959–60, 1977–78, 1996–97, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2013–14, 2017–18
All Cups in the same season 3 1996–97 (5/5 Cups), 2000–01 (6/6 Cups), 2017–2018 (3/3 Cups)

Notes

  1. Valletta United, the predecessors of Valletta F.C., won the league title in 1914–15 and 1931–32 seasons.

References

  1. https://usa.laliga.es/en/news/laliga-the-best-show-in-malta-1
  2. "UEFA-MFA study confirms football as no.1 sport in Malta". Malta Football Association. 26 September 2018. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  3. "The Birth of Valletta United". VallettaFCOfficial.net. 12 July 2007.
  4. "Squad 2018–19". Valletta F.C. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  5. "Valletta". UEFA. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  6. "The Coaches". Valletta F.C. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  7. "Champions Valletta name Abdilla as coach". Times of Malta. 23 May 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  8. "UEFA Competitions". Valletta F.C.

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