Unión Española

Unión Española
Unión Española
Unión Española crest
Full name

Club Unión Española

Nickname(s) Los Rojos de Santa Laura (Santa Laura's reds), Los Diablos Rojos (The Red Devils), La Furia Roja (The Red Fury), Panaderos (Bakers), Pepes, Los Rojos (The Reds)
Founded 18 May 1897, as
Centro Español de Instrucción y Recreación
Ground Estadio Santa Laura-Universidad SEK
(Capacity: 22,500)
Owner Spain Jorge Segovia
Chairman Spain José María Llorente
Manager Chile José Luis Sierra
League Primera División de Chile
Primera A 2010 Primera A, 5th
Website Club home page
Home colours
Away colours

Club Unión Española S.A.D.P is a professional Chilean football based in Independencia, Santiago de Chile. Founded by a Spanish immigrants on 18 May 1897, Unión Española have participated in the top-tier of Chilean football for all of their existence but two seasons in the late '90s (1998 and 1997).

Unión Española have won Primera División six times, behind Colo-Colo (29), Universidad de Chile (13) and Universidad Católica (10), as well as winning two Copa Chile titles. On the South American stage Unión has participate nine times in Copa Libertadores, one time in Copa Sudamericana and one time in the Recopa Sudamericana. Unión also was runner-up in the Copa Libertadores of 1975.

On July 2008, the club was purchased by the Spanish entrepreneur and owner of the IE University, Jorge Segovia. This man purchased all rights federative, the lower divisions, the pass of the players and the logo of the club, for a fee of 2.500 million pesos (US$ 1 million).

Home games are currently played at the Estadio Santa Laura since 1922. After arrival of Segovia on May 2008, the stadium was remodelated for a fee of 4.000 million pesos. In 2009, the stadium was renamed as Estadio Santa Laura–Universidad SEK.

The traditional rivals of the club are Palestino, team founded for the Palestinian colony radicated in Chile and Audax Italiano, which originated with the Italian colony of Chile. With Palestino and Audax, the team plays the colony derby. Unión Española also is the second oldest club of the Primera División Chilena with 113 years behind Santiago Wanderers with 118 years.



Foundation, Amateur era and First seasons

Unión Deportiva Española squad champion of the Asociación de Fútbol de Santiago in 1925

The team were founded as Centro Español de Instrucción y Recreación on 18 May 1897 by a group of Spanish immigrants residents of Chile. In 1918, were founded the teams: Club Ciclista Ibérico and the Club Ibérico Balompié. Both clubs in 1922, were fused and formed the club, Unión Deportiva Española. The club operated as titular team in the Estadio Santa Laura.

In the first seasons of the club, Unión Deportiva Española participated in the championship of the Asociación de Fútbol de Santiago. In this tournament the club won his first two consecutive titles in the Copa Chile, in the seasons of 1924 and 1925. The team was led by his captain, the Spanish defender Juan Legarreta.

In 1927, after the merger of the National Football Federation which occurred one year ago, the championship was called Liga Central de Football. Because the participation of many clubes, made that the league was divided into two categories in 1927 and 1928: the Serie A and Serie B. The club also was in the Serie A. In 1928, Unión Deportiva Española won his second title, after of awarded in the Liga Central de Fútbol.

On May of 1933, Unión Deportiva Española with Colo-Colo, Santiago Badminton, Audax Italiano, Green Cross, Magallanes and Santiago National, were the clubs that founded the Professional League of Chile, part of the Asociación de Fútbol de Santiago. In the Apertura Championship of the same year, Unión achieved the runner-up, after of loss the final against Colo-Colo, in a 2–1 loss. In the Official Championship, the club finished in the fourth place of eight teams.

In the next year, with the final fusion of Centro Español de Instrucción y Recreación and Unión Deportiva Española, in 1934, the club take definitely the name of Unión Española (being re–founded symbolically on 9 December 1935).

In 1939, Unión only played one match in the Primera División 1939 (against Colo-Colo), under the name of Central, in the first week of the tournament. Because the Spanish Civil War of this year, the club's leadership entered in recess for one year. In the next season, Unión had a youth squad during the Primera División tournament of 1940, but the team finished in the tenth place. In 1943, Unión won his first professional title in the Primera División.

After of the runner–up achieved in 1945, 1948, in 1950, the team once was runner-up, after of loss Championship playoffs against Everton for 1–0, with a goal of René Meléndez. Unión once win the Primera División title in 1951 under the Spanish coach Isidro Lángara. This title was the second in Unión Española's history.

Golden Age

Leopoldo Vallejos, goalkeeper of Unión Española during 1972 and 1975

Under the Argentine Nestor Isella as coach, Unión Española was runner–up of the Primera División Chilena in 1970, after of loss the final match against Colo-Colo on January 1971. However the runner–up allowed to Unión to participate first time in Copa Libertadores. In the Copa Libertadores 1971, the club finished first in the group stage, qualifying to the group of the semi–finals, but Unión was eliminated of the group in the last position. Whilst in the local tournament, Unión finished in the third place. In the next season, the club once was runner-up against Colo-Colo and Unión qualified to Copa Libertadores.

In the season of 1973, with the arrival of the coach Luis Santibáñez to the club, Unión proclaimed champion of Primera División for second time, and including the team had the goalscorer of the tournament Guillermo Yávar. In the international tournaments, Unión had a poor performance during the Copa Libertadores 1973, finishing in the last position of the group stage.

On the next season, the coach Luis Santaibáñez was went to Deportes Ovalle, but he return to the club on June 1974. In the tournaments Unión had a regular season, finished in the fourth place of the Primera División of 1974 and finishing in the last position of the group stage of Copa Libertadores. However, Unión won the Copa Libertadores playoffs and qualified to the Copa Libertadores of the next year.

One of most successful seasons of Union Española's history was on 1975 season, winning the national tournament and the runner–up achieved in the Copa Libertadores against Club Atlético Independiente of Avellaneda. In the season of 1976, the squad of Unión Española was totally dissarmed, because the offers for players of other clubs. On the Primera División tournament, Unión finished in the first place with Everton, and both clubs had to play a Championship playoff, that Unión was loss. In the Libertadores playoffs, Unión was not qualified to the tournament, after of finish in the third position of the playoffs. However in 1977, Unión was once champion of the tournament.

Irregular years

The years 1980s were irregular season for the Hispanic club. In 1983, Unión made a poor season finishing in the 20th place of 22 teams, meaning the relegation to the Second Division. Finally, the club not relegated because a decree of the directive of the Asociación Central de Fútbol (AFC). In the next season, Unión integrated the South Group, qualifying with Universidad Católica. In the Championship playoff, Unión played a quadrangular, finishing in the third place behind Cobresal.

After an irregular season in 1987, one of maximum idols of the club Honorino Landa died. Because his dead, was performed a cup in his honor, called "Copa Honorino Landa". The cup was played against Universidad Católica, and the club was defeated by Católica for 3−0. In the same year, the club finished in the twelfth place of 16 teams. In 1988, Unión achieved the runner-up of the Copa Chile, after of loss against Colo-Colo.

In 1989, the club disputed the Winter Cup, tournament designed by the ANFP, for keep active the club during the development of the Copa América 1989. In the contest, The Hispanics integrated the Group 3. Unión qualified to the quarterfinals. After of the club win the quarterfinals and the semifinals, the club finally disputed the final against Huachipato, however, Unión won the game by 2−0, crowning champion of the contest.

In 1992, arrived Nelson Acosta to the bench, former coach of O'Higgins. In the first season of Acosta in Unión, he proclaimed to Unión champion of the Copa Chile 1992, with Marcelo Vega as top-scorer of the team and the contest with 13 goals. However, the club was crowned for second consecutive time of the tournament in 1993, beating to Cobreloa by 3−1 at Estadio Nacional.

In 1997, Unión Española completed a century of history. In this season, Unión was relegated for first time in its history to the Second Division, now called Primera B and the coach Acosta leave the club, because the relegation. For the season 1999, the directive hired to the coach Juvenal Olmos.


Sebastián Miranda, Unión Española's captain during the seasons 2009–2010

Unión Española returned to the Primera División in 2000 with a then-record 70 points. In the Primera División, Unión finished in the fourth place. Because the departure of Juvenal Olmos to Universidad Católica, the former player Leonardo Véliz arrived as coach in 2001.

The team was under the coach, Fernando Carvallo during two seasons (2003–2004). In the second season of Carvallo in Unión, the club was eliminated in the Quarter-finals of the playoffs by Santiago Wanderers, during the Torneo de Apertura, and in the Torneo de Clausura of the same year, Unión was runner–up of the tournament, after of loss the final against Cobreloa.

Because the departure of the coach Fernando Carvallo to Palestino, he was replaced by Fernando Díaz Seguel, with Díaz Seguel as the coach, Unión Española was champion of the Torneo Apertura 2005, winning the sixth title in Primera División in its history.

Because the title obtained in the Apertura 2005, Unión played the Copa Libertadores 2006. In this international tournament, Unión failed to qualificate to the second stage. The club was ubicated in the third position with 8 points alongside Argentine club Newell's Old Boys, but Newells had more goal difference making that Unión was eliminated of the tournament. However, in the national tournament, Unión made a poor season, finishing in the thirteenth place of the Annual Table.

In the next season, Unión Española made a regular season on Torneo de Apertura 2007, finishing in the eight place. But on the Torneo de Clausura, the team worse totally his performance finishing in the eightinth place of the Clausura and nearly going to the Promotion Playoffs after of finishing sixteenth place in the Annual Table.

In 2008, under the Argentine Marcelo Espina as coach, Unión won his first three games of Torneo de Apertura 2008 against Deportes Melipilla, Audax Italiano and Universidad Católica, but on the next weeks the team worse his performance. On July of the same year, the club was purchased by the Spanish employer Jorge Segovia for a fee of 2.500 million pesos. The first changes after arrival of Segovia to the club, was the hiring of Jorge Garcés as coach, because the departure of Espina. However, Jorge Garcés had a worse performance of Espina, and he was dismissed. The coach Luis Hernán Carvallo arrived in his replace. Shortly after, the club went to the Promotion playoffs against Deportes Puerto Montt, and the club nearly relegated to Primera B, after of an aggregate result of 5–4.

In the next season, the club made a notable season in the Torneo de Apertura 2009, finishing in the first season at regular phase, qualifying to the playoffs and the Copa Sudamericana 2009, but in the playoffs the team was runner–up of the tournament against Universidad de Chile, on a 2–1 aggregate result. Because the first place obtained in the Apertura, Unión qualified to the Copa Sudamericana 2009, the club defeat to La Equidad on 3–2 aggregate, qualifying to the Round of 16 against Vélez Sársfield, but the team nearly qualified to the quarterfinals, after of loss 5–4 on the aggregate.

In the Primera División Chilena 2010, Unión finished in the fifth place with 52 points over Huachipato with 48 points in the sixth place, qualifying to the Libertadores playoffs. In this playoffs, Unión won the tournament against Audax Italiano in the final, and the team qualficated to the 2011 Copa Libertadores First Stage against Bolívar. In the first stage of the tournament, Unión won 1–0 on aggregate, qualfying to the second stage. In the group stage, Unión finished in the last place with 4 points under Caracas in the third position with 7 points.


Current Squad

As of 11 February 2011

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Chile GK Rainer Wirth
2 Chile MF Braulio Leal
3 Chile DF Francisco Alarcón
4 Chile MF Gonzalo Villagra
5 Uruguay MF Diego Scotti
6 Ecuador DF Giovanny Espinoza
7 Argentina FW Raúl Estévez
8 Chile DF Rodolfo Madrid
9 Chile FW Leonardo Monje
10 Uruguay MF Martín Ligüera
11 Chile MF Fernando Cordero
12 Chile GK Richard Rodríguez
13 Chile DF Leandro Delgado
No. Position Player
14 Chile MF Gonzalo Barriga
15 Chile DF Marco Hidalgo
16 Chile MF Esteban González
17 Chile FW Rodrigo Gattas
19 Chile DF Rafael Olarra
21 Chile MF Nahuel Donadell
22 Uruguay GK Federico Elduayen
23 Argentina FW Sebastián Jaime
24 Chile FW Fabián Saavedra
25 Chile FW Jean Paul Pineda
26 Chile FW Ramsés Bustos
28 Chile DF Leonel Mena
32 Chile MF Matias Navarrete
  • The teams of the Chilean Primera Division are limited to seven players without Chilean nationality and also are limited to five foreign players in the field. The squads with more of seven players in the squad or five foreign players are sanctioned by the ANFP. The squad of the club now have all places of foreign players, three Argentine players, three Uruguayan players and one Ecuadorian player.

Notable players


Current staff

The former professional player Pedro Reyes is the current Assistant manager of the club.
Position Name
Coach Chile José Luis Sierra
Assistant coach Chile Pedro Reyes
Goalkeeping coach Chile Ronald Yávar
Fitness coach Chile Marcelo Canessa
Chile Cristobal López
Orthopedics Colombia Jorge Iván Cardona
Chile Osvaldo Garrido
Physiotherapists Chile Felipe Suárez
Chile Marcelo Cano
Paramedical Chile Sergio Collao
Assistants Chile Pedro Guajardo
Chile Javier Pinto

Notable managers






External links

Official website
News sites

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