A young Pablo Aimar began his ascent to stardom with River Plate, whose first team he joined in 1997 and with whom he quickly established himself as one of the best young players in Argentina.
An attacking midfielder with a vast array of skills, he was signed by Valencia as a direct replacement for the outgoing playmaker Gerard for €24 million in January 2001.
The purchase proved justified as he helped lead the team to a first place finish in La Liga in 2002 as well as a runner-up finish in the previous seasons's Champions League, being defeated by Bayern Munich; he also won a domestic and European double in 2004 with Valencia again winning La Liga and the UEFA Cup, beating Marseille in the final.
It was a golden period for Valencia and no coincidence Aimar was at the heart of it.
In all circumstances Valencia are the third best team in Spanish football.
They have won six La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey trophies, three UEFA Cups and one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. They have also reached two Champions League finals in a row, losing to La Liga rivals Real Madrid in 2000 and then to Bayern Munich on penalties after a 1–1 draw in 2001.
There are several possible explanations for the bat that is the symbol of Valencia; one is that bats are simply quite common in the area. The second theory is that in 1238, when James I was about to enter the city, re-conquering it from the Moors, one bat landed on the top of his flag, which he interpreted as a good omen and the bat was added to the coat of arms.
That both Valencians and Valencia CF fans are known as 'Los Che' - which means something like 'The Blokes' in the Valencian dialect - shows how closely the people of Valencia identify with the club.
Valencia have a long-standing rivalry with Levante, also located in the city and with two other clubs in the region, Hércules and Villarreal.
Founded in 1919, Valencia have played their home games at the Mestalla stadium since 1923.
It is renowned for its steep terracing and for being one of the most intimidating atmospheres in all of Europe to play.