UD Las Palmas

Unión Deportiva Las Palmas, S.A.D. is a Spanish football team based in Las Palmas, in the autonomous community of Canary Islands. Founded on 22 August 1949, it plays in Segunda División, holding home games at the Estadio Gran Canaria, with a capacity of 32,400 seats.

Las Palmas
Full nameUnión Deportiva Las Palmas, S.A.D.
Nickname(s)La Union Deportiva
Pío Pío
Founded22 August 1949; 71 years ago (1949-08-22)
GroundEstadio Gran Canaria
PresidentMiguel Ángel Ramírez
Head coachPepe Mel
LeagueSegunda División
2020–21Segunda División, 9th of 22
WebsiteClub website
Current season

The club remains the only one in Spanish football to achieve back-to-back promotions to La Liga in its first two seasons. It had a 19-year run in the competition, ending in 1982–83. They have been promoted to La Liga on three additional occasions since that time (a total of eight additional seasons), most recently from 2015 to 2018.

Its main rivals are Tenerife from said neighbouring island. Las Palmas and Tenerife contest the Canary Islands derby. The two clubs are among the most isolated professional football clubs in Europe, since they play their away games on the distant Spanish mainland.


Foundation and early years

Real Club Victoria in 1910.
Marino Fútbol Club shield.

Even though the club registered with the Royal Spanish Football Federation on 6 June 1949, UD Las Palmas was officially founded on 22 August of that year, as the result of a merger between all five clubs on the island: Club Deportivo Gran Canaria, Atlético Club de Fútbol, Real Club Victoria, Arenas Club and Marino Fútbol Club. The union was to create a club strong enough to keep Canarian players on the island and not to seek a better career on the mainland.

Debate was held on the name of the club, which it was agreed would not include the names of any of its predecessors. An early option, Deportivo Canarias, was scrapped due to referring to the Canary Islands on a whole rather than the island of Gran Canaria. The name Las Palmas by itself was also put forward, and then rejected due to the name having already been taken by a defunct club in the city; Unión Deportiva Las Palmas was finally chosen due to its connection to the union which created the team, and its home city of Las Palmas. The first training session at the new club was held on 16 September 1949.[2]

Las Palmas finished second in their first season in the Tercera División (1949–50), ranking third in the following year's Segunda División to reach La Liga for the first time ever, and became the first Spanish club to achieve consecutive promotions in its first two years of existence. The first season in the top flight ended, however, in relegation, but the team returned to the category in 1954, going on to enjoy a six-year spell.

Top-flight success

After Las Palmas returned to La Liga at the end of the 1963–64 season, again as champions, the club went on to have their most successful spell in the competition. Managed by Vicente Dauder, they finished third in 1967–68 behind Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, and four club players made the Spain squad which hosted and won the UEFA Euro 1964 tournament; the following season the team fared even better and only lost the league to Real Madrid, and thus qualified for European competition for the first time in its history, appearing in the 1969–70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and being knocked out in the first round by Germany's Hertha BSC (0–0 home draw, 0–1 away loss).

Las Palmas player Juan Guedes died suddenly on 9 March 1971 at the age of 28. The next season, French coach Pierre Sinibaldi led the club to the fifth place, with subsequent qualification for the UEFA Cup: after disposing of Torino F.C. and ŠK Slovan Bratislava, the Spaniards bowed out to Dutch club FC Twente; at the end of 1974–75 another team player, Tonono – a defender who played with Guedes – died of a liver infection.

Las Palmas' third appearance in European competition came with the 1977–78 UEFA Cup, where they defeated FK Sloboda Tuzla of Yugoslavia in the first round before falling to the English side Ipswich Town.[3] Under the management of Miguel Muñoz, and with players such as Argentines Miguel Ángel Brindisi, Daniel Carnevali (the first to arrive in 1973), Carlos Morete and Quique Wolff, the club also reached their first final of the Copa del Rey in that year, losing on 19 April to Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium (1–3).[4]

From the 1990s onwards, Las Palmas played mainly in the Segunda División, but also spent six years in Segunda División B – the new third level created in 1977 – and, from 2000 to 2002, competed in the top flight. On 3 October 2001 the side managed a 4–2 home win against Real Madrid, with youth product Rubén Castro scoring two goals for the hosts, but the season ended nonetheless in relegation.[5] On 22 December 2001, Las Palmas played its 1,000th game in La Liga. In the 2009–10 season in Segunda División the club finished 17th, just one point away from being relegated to Segunda División B. On 21 June 2015, Las Palmas was promoted back to La Liga after defeating Real Zaragoza on the away goals rule.


Season to season

Carlos Morete, the second top scorer in the history of the club after Germán Dévora.
View of Gran Canaria stadium.
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1949–50 3 2nd DNP
1950–51 2 3rd DNP
1951–52 1 15th DNP
1952–53 2 4th Third round
1953–54 2 1st Round of 16
1954–55 1 12th Round of 16
1955–56 1 11th Round of 16
1956–57 1 10th Round of 16
1957–58 1 11th Quarter-finals
1958–59 1 14th Round of 32
1959–60 1 16th Round of 32
1960–61 2 5th Round of 16
1961–62 2 4th First round
1962–63 2 3rd Round of 16
1963–64 2 1st First round
1964–65 1 9th Round of 16
1965–66 1 10th Round of 16
1966–67 1 11th Round of 16
1967–68 1 3rd Round of 16
1968–69 1 2nd Round of 16
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1969–70 1 9th Round of 16
1970–71 1 14th Round of 16
1971–72 1 5th Round of 16
1972–73 1 11th Fifth round
1973–74 1 11th Semi-finals
1974–75 1 13th Quarter-finals
1975–76 1 13th Quarter-finals
1976–77 1 4th Round of 16
1977–78 1 7th Runners-up
1978–79 1 6th Fourth round
1979–80 1 12th Third round
1980–81 1 15th First round
1981–82 1 15th Round of 16
1982–83 1 16th Third round
1983–84 2 11th Semi-finals
1984–85 2 1st Fourth round
1985–86 1 13th Fourth round
1986–87 1 14th Fourth round
1987–88 1 20th Round of 16
1988–89 2 11th Round of 32
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1989–90 2 6th First round
1990–91 2 15th Round of 16
1991–92 2 20th Fourth round
1992–93 3 2ªB 1st Fourth round
1993–94 3 2ªB 2nd Third round
1994–95 3 2ªB 3rd Fourth round
1995–96 3 2ªB 1st Second round
1996–97 2 7th Semi-finals
1997–98 2 3rd Third round
1998–99 2 6th Fourth round
1999–00 2 1st Second round
2000–01 1 11th Round of 32
2001–02 1 18th Round of 32
2002–03 2 5th Round of 64
2003–04 2 20th Round of 64
2004–05 3 2ªB 7th Round of 64
2005–06 3 2ªB 3rd Third round
2006–07 2 18th Third round
2007–08 2 8th Round of 32
2008–09 2 18th Second round
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
2009–10 2 17th Third round
2010–11 2 15th Second round
2011–12 2 9th Second round
2012–13 2 6th Round of 16
2013–14 2 6th Round of 32
2014–15 2 4th Round of 32
2015–16 1 11th Quarter-finals
2016–17 1 14th Round of 16
2017–18 1 19th Round of 16
2018–19 2 12th Second round
2019–20 2 9th Second round
2020–21 2 9th Second round

Recent seasons

Season Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Cup Notesint
1999–2000 2D 1 42201210 604172 Promoted
2000–01 1D 11 3813718 426246
2001–02 1D 18 3891316 405040 Relegated
2002–03 2D 5 42161610 534364
2003–04 2D 20 42101418 466844 Relegated
2004–05 2DB 7 3817912 503360
2005–06 2DB 3 3818137 452467 Promoted
2006–07 2D 18 42131217 515951
2007–08 2D 8 42151215 515557
2008–09 2D 18 42101715 465147
2009–10 2D 17 42121515 494951
2010–11 2D 15 42131514 567154
2011–12 2D 9 42161016 585958
2012–13 2D 6 42181212 625566
2013–14 2D 6 4218915 515063
2014–15 2D 4 4222128 734778 Promoted
2015–16 1D 11 3812818 455344
2016–17 1D 14 3810919 537439
2017–18 1D 19 385726 247422 Relegated
2018–19 2D 12 319157 353342

European cup history

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1969–70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Last 64 Hertha BSC 0–0 0–1 0–1
1972–73 UEFA Cup Last 64 Torino 4–0 0–2 4–2
Last 32 Slovan Bratislava 2–2 1–0 3–2
Last 16 Twente 2–1 0–3 2–4
1977–78 UEFA Cup Last 64 Sloboda Tuzla 5–0 3–4 8–4
Last 32 Ipswich Town 3–3 0–1 3–4

Current squad

As of 4 June 2021.[6]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK  ESP Álvaro Valles
2 DF  ESP Álex Díez
3 MF  ESP Sergio Ruiz (on loan from Charlotte FC)
4 DF  ESP Álex Suárez
5 DF  ARG Tomás Cardona (on loan from Godoy Cruz)
6 DF  ESP Eric Curbelo
7 FW  ESP Aridai
8 MF  ESP Maikel Mesa
9 FW  ESP Jesé
10 FW  ARG Sergio Araujo
11 FW  ESP Benito Ramírez
12 MF  FRA Enzo Loiodice
13 DF  KEN Ismael Athuman
14 DF  ESP Álvaro Lemos
15 MF  ESP Fabio González
16 FW  ESP Pejiño
17 MF  ESP Óscar Clemente
18 MF  ESP Javi Castellano (vice-captain)
No. Pos. Nation Player
19 FW  ESP Edu Espiau
20 MF  ESP Kirian Rodríguez
22 FW  ESP Rafa Mújica (on loan from Leeds United)
23 DF  ESP Dani Castellano
24 FW  ESP Rober (on loan from Betis)
25 DF  ESP Aythami Artiles (captain)
26 FW  GNB Claudio Mendes
27 MF  ESP Pol Salvador
28 MF  ESP Alberto Moleiro
29 FW  ESP Pau Miguélez
30 GK  ESP Álex Domínguez
32 GK  ESP Sergi Puig
33 DF  BRA Jonathan (on loan from Almería)
35 DF  EQG Saúl Coco
36 MF  ESP Diego Gutiérrez
37 FW  ESP Iñaki Elejalde

Other players under contract

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK  ESP Raúl Fernández
MF  ESP Cristian Cedrés

Reserve team

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
31 MF  ESP Sato
34 DF  ESP David Vicente
No. Pos. Nation Player
38 FW  ESP Juan Fernández
39 DF  ESP Sergi Cardona

Out on loan

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
DF  ESP Alberto de la Bella (at Cartagena until 30 June 2021)
FW  ESP Adrián Flaqué (at Andratx until 30 June 2021)


Runners-up (1): 1968–69
Winners (4): 1953–54, 1963–64, 1984–85, 1999–00
Winners (2): 1992–93, 1995–96
Runners-up (1): 1978

Former players

List of coaches

Affiliated teams

Las Palmas has used farm teams since 1954, but its official B-team, Las Palmas Atlético, was founded in 1976.[7] A third side was founded in 2006 and reached the highest division of regional football, the Preferente, before folding in 2010 and being re-created the following season.[8]

The club also had a women's team in the top division between 2009 and 2011. In 2010 Las Palmas founded an indoor football team for the Liga de Fútbol Indoor, staging matches at the Centro Insular de Deportes.[9]


Las Palmas' badge is a blue shield with yellow scrolls on top with the club's name, city and archipelago. The municipal arms, granted by the city's mayor, feature in the centre of the design. Underneath lie the five crests of the clubs which united in 1949 to create the club: from left to right – Victoria, Arenas, Deportivo, Marino and Atlético; a smaller white scroll above them displays the city motto Segura tiene la palma.

In Spanish football, many clubs possess royal patronage and thus are permitted to use the prefix Real in their name and use an image of the Spanish crown. Las Palmas does not have such patronage, but tops its crest with the Spanish crown due to the patronage held by Real Club Victoria.

The crest is the central emblem of the club flag, a horizontal bicolour with yellow on top and blue underneath. The flag of the island of Gran Canaria uses these colours diagonally.


  1. "Gran Canaria Stadium". UD Las Palmas. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  2. Historia – Nombre del club (History – Club name) Archived 18 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine; Las Palmas' official website (in Spanish)
  3. Historia – De las tragedias del destino a los argentinos (71–83) (Historia – From twists of fate to Argentines (71–83)) Archived 29 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine; Las Palmas' official website (in Spanish)
  4. Spain – Cup 1978; at RSSSF
  5. Liga – El 'niño' que eclipsó a Zidane reta al Madrid (Liga – The 'boy' who eclipsed Zidane challenges Madrid); Yahoo! Deportes, 12 October 2011 (in Spanish)
  6. "Top Team". UD Las Palmas. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  7. El filial: vivero del fútbol canario (The farm team: feeding ground of Canarian football); Historia del Fútbol Canario (in Spanish)
  8. La UD Las Palmas volverá a tener equipo "C" (UD Las Palmas to have a "C" team again) Archived 5 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine; Las Palmas' official website, 20 June 2011 (in Spanish)
  9. La UD Las Palmas crea un equipo de Fútbol Indoor (UD Las Palmas creates Indoor Football team) Archived 6 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine; Las Palmas' official website, 23 September 2010 (in Spanish)