Andorra – Estadio Juan Antonio Endeiza

Okay, let’s try and cut out any confusion before it has a chance to start. This is not Andorra the land-locked principality in the Pyrenees. Although they have in Futbol Club Andorra a team that competes in the Catalan regional leagues. No, this is Andorra the town, which you will find in the province of Teruel, Aragon. Before you dismiss the local team, Andorra Club de Fútbol as regional make-weights, you should know that in their day, Endesa Andorra as they were then known, came close to promotion to La Segunda on a couple of occasions, which is pretty impressive for a town of little over 8,000 people.

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Originally called the Campo de Fútbol Calvo Sotelo, this
has been the home of Andorra CF since its formation in 1957

Andorra sits high in the Sierro de Arcos and is prime mining territory. So it comes as no surprise that Calvo Sotelo, the nationalised mining & petrochemical company set up shop in the town after the end of the Civil War. With its arrival came jobs, migrant workers and new communal facilities. The town’s first club, the unrelated Andorra CF used the facilities when competing in the regional leagues in the early fifties. Calvo Sotelo was proving to be a growing influence in the town and in 1957, they formed Club Deportivo Andorra, who immediately replaced the defunct Andorra CF. Thanks to company sponsorship, the club made short work of the regional league and debuted in the Tercera in 1958. The club adopted the title of Club Deportivo Calvo Sotelo in 1959 and played at the Campo de Fútbol Calvo Sotelo, which had opened when the club was formed. Over the next twenty or so seasons, CD Calvo Sotelo remained in the Tercera, gaining a couple of titles along the way, but never quite made the step up to the next level.

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Renamed Instalaciones Deportivas de Endesa &
with a temporary extension to the west stand

That changed in 1981 when under the name of Club Endesa-Andorra (Endesa is the corporate name of de-nationalised Calvo Sotelo), they started to make some headlines. First up was a run in the Copa del Rey that saw the minnows defeat local big-shots Real Zaragoza. Then, after finishing runners-up in the league, Endesa beat Mallorcans UD Poblense to secure a place in Segunda B. Endesa played in Segunda B for 14 of the next 17 seasons, and whilst they usually occupied the lower reaches of the table, there were exceptions, such as the fourth-place finishes in 84-85 & 87-88. The stadium had undergone a few changes since opening in 1957. Originally it featured an open deck of terracing on the west side, that straddled the half-way line for 50 metres. A roof was added in the 1960s and this was extended northwards with an extension to the seating when the club reached Segunda B. A grass pitch was also added at this point.

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The old stadium scrubbed up rather well after a bit of TLC in 2007

The club dropped back into the Tercera in 1998 and lost its sponsorship with Endesa in 2002. Renamed Andorra Club de Fútbol, they achieved a long run of top half finishes, reaching but failing to navigate the playoffs on five occasions. In 2007, as part of the club’s golden jubilee celebrations, the stadium received a makeover, when a new roof was added to the west side, which now extended the full length of the pitch. New seating was added to the existing deck and the raised platform above the changing rooms, that stands in the south-west corner, was turned into a corporate facility under the new roof. The three open sides were also re-terraced and a new pitched was laid. The stadium was renamed the Estadio Juan Antonio Endeiza in honour of the club president who oversaw proceedings in the 1960s.

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Pictured in 2005, before the name changed to Estadio Juan Antonio Endeiza

Andorra CF finally returned to Segunda B in 2011, when they won the Tercera title for the seventh time and then defeated SD Noja in the playoffs. There would be no repeat of the glory years of the 1980s & 90s, with Andorra CF dropping back to the Tercera after a fruitless season-long battle with relegation. Worst was to follow in 2017 when the club dropped to the Regional Preferente for the first time in four decades.

 

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