Independiente del Valle – Immersion in Andean football !
During a 6 month internship in Quito I rediscover this country and this city. I had the chance to live there for 2 years and here I am again more than 12 years after leaving. I also meet my childhood friends again, with whom I go to the stadium, as well as my father. He chose to live there as an expatriate, in Guayaquil. I’m taking the opportunity to take a wide tour of the country’s stadiums, discovering the South American fibre that makes the atmosphere in the stadiums so hot and exotic.
Independiente del Valle :
Independiente del Valle is one of the many football clubs to be found in and around Quito. It is located in the valley (hence its name del Valle = of the valley), in Sangolqui. It is one of the many “dormitory” towns in Quito, where the inhabitants work during the day in the big city and return home in the evening. This club is simply amazing, and it is experiencing a stupendous rise. Founded in 1958, the club reached the Ecuadorian league elite for the first time in 2009. Although they have yet to win the domestic league, Independentistas have achieved reaching the final of the 2016 Copa Libertadores. They managed to beat legendary clubs such as River Plate and Boca Juniors. Not so bad… ! In 2019, Independiente del Valle won thelittle sister, the Copa Sudamericana (the equivalent of the Europa League). In ten years of top-level football, a solid foundation has already been laid in the club’s history.
So it’s in search of a new stadium and new waves that I arrive at General Rumiñahui’s Municipal Stadium. The journey takes an hour from the centre of Quito by public transport. A small stadium with barely 8,000 seats, full of charm. Two side stands surround the pitch. No stands behind the goals, but a huge mural on a wall, painted with the club’s colours. I am hardly able to understand the content, but it gives the stadium a nice look and identity. At night you have a great view of the valley lights behind the other goal. Long story short, it’s a unique stadium.
Independiente del Valle – Delfin – April 2018
I witnessed an interesting game on the field. Despite the home side’s dominance, the visitors pulled off the perfect hold-up by winning 1-0 without showing anything and taking advantage of Independiente’s only mistake of the day. It’s a high price to pay for the local team that really caught my eye.
From my humble expertise, you can clearly see a few promising seeds of Ecuadorian football in Independiente’s ranks. That’s one of the reasons for the club’s recent success, and it’s a club that must certainly excel in recruitment and training. I’d also like to mention the great activity of a few dozen Delfin supporters who came out for the occasion. They didn’t leave with nothing to show for their efforts and showed great energy. As for the locals, I’d say the atmosphere was a very sweet one. It’s more of a family atmosphere and I think it’s very local, unlike other clubs in Quito, which have a more diverse fan base. In short, the show is rather on the field, which is not so common in Ecuador ! Of course, it’s not the most memorable stadium experience in and around Quito, but it’s a nice time to spend. If you want a more exciting stadium, you might want to check out the La Liga stadium ( article available here).
The fact remains that Independiente del Valle is barely proving itself in the eyes of the footballing world. The club will surely still be in the news in the coming years because the ascent has only just begun. Thank you Independiente.