Sharing the load: remembering when Valencia won La Liga

Adam Brown

Valencia’s La Liga success in the 2001/02 season was a feat which is unlikely to be repeated. Despite the presence of Real Madrid and Barcelona, Rafael Benitez led Valencia to their first league title in over 30 years.

What is even more impressive is that amongst the team were 17 different goalscorers who shared 51 goals – an average of just three goals per player.

So how were the goals shared?

It’s highly impressive for any team to conquer Real Madrid and Barcelona, but to do it with your top scorer being a midfielder with just seven goals, credit is due to Rafael Benitez who masterminded his legendary Valencia side to two league titles and a UEFA cup. A tactical masterclass – especially in defence.

It’s no surprise that the next venture of Rafael Benitez quickly delivered success as the Spaniard was dominant in the Champions League, guiding Liverpool to two finals, winning one.

The difference between Valencia’s current squad and their team back in the early 2000s is ridiculous. For a club who have so much history, it’s disappointing to see that they’ve fallen from their time as one of Spain’s most competitive sides.

We hope that in the near future they can return with players on par with the likes of Marchena, Albelda, Vicente, Aimar and Ruben Baraja – who arguably formed the greatest Valencia team in history.


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