AN abandoned stadium dubbed the “world’s greatest” has been handed a major lifeline – 14 years after being left to rot in the heart of a major city.
Spanish giants Valencia were set to star at the 80,000-seater Nou Mestalla stadium from the 2009/10 season.
Fans couldn’t wait to leave their current 49,000-seater Mestalla arena for the new upgrade.
And aces including David Silva, Pablo Aimar, Juan Mata and David Villa were ready to strut their stuff amid a potential title bid.
Indeed, Valencia’s Nou Mestalla was crowned the “world’s greatest football stadium” ahead of its completion.
But the Spaniards ended up running into financial trouble, racking up debts of £350million by 2008.
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They also struggled to find a buyer for the old Mestalla while also being denied a £90m bank loan.
And so Valencia’s dream arena was abandoned and left to rot.
However, there is reportedly hope that the Nou Mestalla could finally be completed in the near future.
Spain are desperate to host the 2030 World Cup alongside Portugal and Morocco.
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Should they get the green light from Fifa, there would be a cash injection to ensure stadiums are up to scratch for matches.
It’s reckoned £100m can get the project back off the ground.
And Valencia’s Mayor, Maria Jose Catala, is hopeful the Nou Mestalla can eventually become a reality.
She said: “The demands are not going to be lowered nor are the deadlines going to be accelerated. We are talking about a future Mestalla field that should last for decades and this circumstance concerns a series of matches for, at most, a month.
"We are not going to compromise the future of the new field to being a sub-venue or hosting a World Cup match. Because that is not going to condition our level of demand and we are not going to accelerate any deadline either.
"If it arrives and can host the 2030 World Cup it will be great for Valencia and if not, it won't be possible. We are not going to condition it."
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