"International Brothers" (English Version)
Following previous Viachers article “Ser o no ser valencianista” written by Viachers’ president Adolfo Porcar, we want to introduce you the stories of seven valencianistas who share the passion for our club. But these valencianistas are special. The seven of them are foreigners who have grown far away from Mestalla and in some cases they don’t even speak Spanish. These heroes come from all over the world: Canada, Germany, Australia, Indonesia, etc. Their stories are an example to all of us and lead to a fair conclusion: VCF is bigger than everything.
In the current football, dominated by the TVs and the petrodollars, sometimes the fan does not follow his heart and ends up choosing the wrong team. But from time to time, VCF reaches very especial people, no matter where they live. The people that have the luck of feeling what is our club will never need anything else. Sometimes you are lucky and you can heritage the love for VCF from your father. In other cases, an especial person brings you a Mario Kempes jersey. Valencianismo can even start the day you choose VCF on the Fifa!
Below you will find the stories of these valencianistas, how they became Valencia fans, who is their favourite player, what is their best memory and many other funny but also interesting anecdotes. From Viachers, we would like to thanks all these people who spent their time sharing their feelings with us.
Nick Giannoulis, 27 years old (Australia)
My name is Nick Giannoulis, I live in Sydney Australia and am 27 years old. When I was 12/13 years old, I came across Valencia in FIFA 2003 and would find myself using them all the time. I already knew all of the players that season before I saw a single match. From that point onwards, I started to follow them more and more while also reading up about their history, their past and present squads, and watching highlight videos in the internet. This happened to be the 2003/04 season, so you could say my relationship with the club could not have started any better. After this season I was hooked.
Being a VCF fan to me is a much more than supporting a football team, there is a huge connection with the club and its fans, and even all the way from Australia I can feel it. Although we have had some rough times in our past, even up until last season, it only makes the good times even better. I started supporting Los Che when we were the top team, and I know we can get back to that place and be a major threat in Europe.
In Australia, Bein Sport is the only channel that shows live matches of La Liga, it is basically the only reason I have pay TV. Having started supporting VCF in 2003, I have to say to date, my best moments with the club were in my first year, where we won the double. There have been many games since which I have great memories of, but seeing as this was the start of me supporting VCF, it is definitely be my best memory, in particular the UEFA Cup final against Marseille. My favourite player, although there have been so many whom I love, it has to be El Mago, Pablo Aimar.
Hans, 34 years old (Norway)
My name is Hans, I am now 34 and live in Norway. The story of my love for Valencia goes back to when I was around three years old and my family went to Spain and Comunidad Valenciana for the first time. My dad was a football fan, so he got me a couple of (probably fake) shirts. One was a Milan shirt with Van Basten on the back, the other a Valencia shirt with Kempes. Both were huge, so I could only wear them later, but they were the reason these two teams are the ones I have followed all my life.
Early on it was a lot of Milan, because Italian football was on TV in Norway, but I always followed Valencia’s results and played them on Championship Manager. Then I returned to Valencia as an adult for the first time and experienced the Mestalla. An 86 minute 1-0 goal from Mista….and I can actually not remember Mestalla being louder the other about 30 times I’ve been. Ever since there’s been only one team for me.
Valencia means a lot to me, every game marks the following week’s mood, so my colleagues are very happy things are looking up now. I have been fortunate to be able to write about the club and being a part of creating the official Scandinavian penya, Chescandinavia. Thanks to friends at the club we have also had some truly great experiences over the years. The craziest experience must be the 2008 Copa del Rey final. I lived in Barcelona then and we were 4 from Chescandinavia who had tickets. The horrible season, the prematch gathering at the San Isidro park and the early lead and the nerves after Getafe pulled one back laid created the backdrop for the Morientes goal (3-1). I never shouted so loudly in my life, and I embraced some huge sweaty guy I didn’t know jumping up and down in celebration. I had no voice for 4 days.
In Norway we are lucky because we can see almost every match on TV. Sometimes we gather to see the matches too. If I am not able to see it on TV I always tune in to Radio VCF and Rovira, same as I did before Spanish football was on TV in Norway, only then it was Radio Nou. Best game where I was present must be the 3-0 victory over Real Madrid in 2009. Probably one of the best with the Mata-Silva-Joaquin-Villa frontline. Ant of course the Baraja dream goal. My favorite player must be David Villa, both because of what he was when he was here and who he has continued to be ever since. Baraja and Aimar close runners up.
Man Wai, 26 years old (Hong Kong)
Hi, I am Cheung Man Wai, a 26 years old valencianista who lives in Hong Kong. I remember what was the reason and when I became a VCF fan. It was a night in 2008. I watched a TV program that broadcasting la Liga and they only selected one match in a month to broadcast for free. There was a match of Valencia against some other La Liga team, I was entertained and obsessed by the way of how Valencia played especially the attack flows created by Villa, Silva, Mata and Pablo. Their teamwork was just like magic. Before that, I didn’t even like football!!
I think that as a Valencia fan, you must treat your club as the club of your life. Never lose hope during bad moments and difficulties. I learnt a lot from the Mestalla fans and the players in this aspect. Moreover, you must have a strong spirit and mentality because of the complicated club situation in the past ten years and also the ranking in la Liga, which is suppressed by two gross teams unfairly. That’s the reason I’m proud to be a VCF fan - fight against the giant.
One of the craziest matches I remember is 4-4 against Werder Bremen in Europe League when Villa scored a hat trick. In that match both teams scored one and another.. so intense. I follow the daily news of the team by SD, PD, VCF website, twitter and our Hong Kong VCF Facebook fan page. Regarding the games, I watch them by Now TV – a private TV station that you need to pay. My favourite players are David villa, Paco Alcacer and Ever Banega.
The photo below was taken the first time VCF visited Hong Kong. I am the guy next to Salvo wearing the white kit.
Rebecca Sanzsole, 25 years old (Canada)
My name is Rebecca Sanzsole I am 25 and live in Canada. I am a Valencia fan because of my father. He was born and raised in Valencia, therefore I was raised watching Valencia since I can remember. I was basically born into being a Valencia fan.
Valencia to me is more than just a football team, but a family. The fans are so committed to their team that it's great to be a fan. When I was young I also got to attend a Valencia camp, which was so much fun. I got to take pictures with the players and la Liga cup along with the Europa cup.
In Canada they don't play much Valencia on tv, but it's a good thing we can stream it online most of the time. Some games I still watch with my father. My favourite players of all time were Mendieta, and Pablo Aimar. Best memory is Mendieta scoring his wonder goal vs Atletico Madrid. I was young and remember trying to copy him juggling and then scoring lol.
Tobias Kaluza, 24 years old (Germany)
My name is Tobias Kaluza. I'm 24 years old and from Düsseldorf, Germany. But currently I live in Murcia, Spain, to make an exchange year. Pretty close to Valencia.
My interest for Valencia started in 2006 when I saw David Villa playing in the world cup in Germany. I already liked the Spanish national team and when I saw Villa I wanted to know where he plays. In 2008 my father bought me a Valencia shirt with David Villa and his #7 on the back. Until then I didn't really watch the games, just checked the results etc. I didn't know where I could watch the matches. In 2010 then I found an Austrian internet channel, that showed all the league matches for Germany, Switzerland and Austria. That's when I started watching like every match. The same season (10/11), I went to a champions league match. In Gelsenkirchen where Valencia played Schalke 04. I had no ticket because it was too expensive for me, but I wanted to meet other fans and train my Spanish skills. So I went there and found a group of valencianistas. I talked to them and one gave me his e-mail address and told me to tell him when I'm going to Valencia and that I can stay at his place. So in October 2011 I went to Valencia for the first time. He showed me the city and the history of the club. Then we went to the stadium. First time Mestalla... Great moment. It was a league match against Athletic Bilbao. The match where Sergio Canales got his first serious injury. We were in the stand of the ultra group Gol Gran and it was really awesome. We went then to another match in the league (vs Getafe) and a Champions League match (vs Leverkusen). In 2014 I went another time to Valencia (to see Valencia - Espanyol), in 2016 again (VCF - Betis). In September 2017 I started my exchange year in Murcia, giving me the chance to basically go to every home match and some away games. As a student I don't have that much money, so I can't see every match, but well... I went to Sevilla to see that crazy 3-6 win against Betis. I went to the stadium of Levante for the derby. At home I saw the matches against Sevilla, Barça, Villarreal, Girona and Madrid.
My craziest experience is when I met my friend at that match against Schalke back in 2011 while the best match for me was in the Europa League when we beat FC Basel with 5-0 after losing the first leg 0-3. My favourite players are now Gayà and Soler and my all time favourite player is Vicente Rodríguez.
Mukhriza Arief, 40 years old (Indonesia)
My name is Mukhriza Arief, I'm 40 years old and I live in South Tangerang City, Indonesia.
I've been in love with Valencia CF since the UEFA Champions League final in 2001. VCF lost unfairly in that final. In the moment when Bayern got the equalizer from Stefan Effenberg penalty, Amedeo Carboni didn't touch the ball by purpose because Carsten Jancker push him before it happens. VCF is the true winner in that UCL final.
I love VCF because is a team that show their performance as a unit and not depend on some top players like FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. The VCF sentiment also gives me spirit in life, as a lesson there's is no easy life without keep on fighting. I got really angry when VCF lost unjustly in the 2001 UCL Final. I love fair play in football.
Since in Indonesia the matches that always get the bigger attention are FC Barcelona and Real Madrid matches. We have to watch VCF matches on TV cable or live streaming from internet sites for VCF matches against other than those two clubs. Santi Cañizares is my favourite player and my favourite match was the UCL final against FC Bayern.
Cristopher, 24 years old (France)
My name is Cristopher and I am 24 years old. I live in Le Mans, France. I was born in France but I lived 5 years in Valencia. My father is from Valencia and he transferred me the love for VCF. Since I was a kid, I do everything to follow VCF. I watch every game and travel to Valencia to visit Mestalla every time I can.
I am ambassador of the VCF in France and I am currently managing the “Valencia CF France” in Facebook. Valencia French fans are like my familu. We all share the passion for VCF and thanks to them I have been able to live fantastic experiences and met amazing people. We all share one common goal: France needs to become more and more Valencianista.
My favourite memory is the “doblete”. I watched the game with my father in the Plaza de toros de Valencia. I watch all the games in BeinSports France.
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