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LDU Quito

LDU Quito is a football (soccer) club from Ecuador.

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About LDU Quito

Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito —often referred to as LDU Quito, Liga de Quito, or simply la Liga— is an Ecuadorian professional association football football club based in Quito. They play in the Ecuadorian Serie A, the highest level of the Ecuadorian professional football league. They play their home games at the Estadio de Liga Deportiva Universitaria, more commonly referred to as La Casa Blanca. Rival clubs include Quito-based clubs Sociedad Deportiva Aucas, Sociedad Deportivo Quito, Club Deportivo El Nacional, and Club Deportivo Universidad Católica del Ecuador, as well as Guayaquil-based clubs Barcelona Sporting Club and Emelec.

LDU Quito has its roots in the semi-pro sports teams at the Central University of Ecuador, and was officially founded in 1930. They began making an impact in the provincial leagues, winning nine Pichincha titles (six in the professional era). Their provincial success continued into the national league, where they have won ten national title (3rd overall) and are the current league champion having won the 2010 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A; they also have two Ecuadorian Serie B titles They are the most successful Ecuadorian club in the internnational scene, where they were the first club to win Copa Libertadores (2008 Copa Libertadores), Copa Sudamericana (2009 Copa Sudamericana), and the Recopa Sudamericana (2009 Recopa Sudamericana and 2010 Recopa Sudamericana). They are the most successful team on the Pacific coast in international competition and one of only four teams —Boca Juniors, Club Atlético Independiente, and Sport Club Internacional being the other three— to have achieved the CONMEBOL treble, winning all three continental club tournaments. LDU is the only team to win all three mentioned cups one after another between the years 2008 to 2010 causing them to be rated as the best South American team of 2008 and 2009. LDU Quito was additionally the runner-up at the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup.


Creation and early years (1930–1953)

LDU Quito's roots lie in a semi-pro sports team based out of the Central University of Ecuador in 1918, headed by Dr. César Jácome Moscoso. Under the leadership of Dr. Bolívar León, the club was officially founded on January 11, 1930. In the early days, Liga participated in a variety of disciplines, including soccer, basketball, Athletics (track and field), boxing, baseball, swimming (sport), Table tennis, and chess. The club's initial budget was about 500 Ecuadorian sucre. The first team's players were students from the university, and had to pay for their own uniforms, medicines, and expenses. Dr. León designed the first uniform, placing its crest, a white "U" on an inverted red and blue triangle, on a white shirt, honoring the team's beginnings at the university. Amongst Liga's first players were Carlos Andrade Marín, Oswaldo Mosquera, Alfonso Cevallos, Alfonso Troya and "El Mono" Icaza.

In 1932, LDU Quito won their first football title at an amateur Pichincha Province tournament; there was no national amateur league at the time. Five teams participated: Liga, Gladiador, Gimnástico, Atlético, and Cleveland. Liga won all their games, and in the final match, played at the Estadio El Ejido, defeated Gladiador by a score of 4–0. Playing for Liga were Jorge Zapater, Eduardo Flores, Alfonso Cevallos, César González, Jorge Vallarino, Jorge Naranjo, Bolívar "Ñato" León, Alejandro Dávalos, Humberto Yáñez, Humberto Freire, and Ernesto Guevara, with Bolívar León as coach. LDU would also win amateur titles in 1952 and 1953, before the league turned professional the following year.

Beginning of professional era (1954–1966)

By 1954, the amateur football association in Pichincha had evolved into the Asociación de Fútbol No Amateur de Pichincha , which subsequently organized a professional league for their member clubs from Quito and Ambato, Ecuador. The inaugural Campeonato Professional Interandino was held in 1954. Liga won the league's first title, under the management of Lucho Vásquez. The club finished as the runner-up in 1955 and 1956, before winning again in 1958 under Argentine Roberto Ortega. The club won four titles during the 1960s, in 1960, 1961, 1966, and 1967, and finished as runner-up in 1962, 1963, and 1964. LDU Quito had the most successful run of any professional Interandino-era club, accumulating a total of 6 regional titles.

In 1957 and from 1960 onwards, winning the Interandino title qualified a team to participate in a tournament which crowned a national champion of Ecuadorian professional football. Liga first participated in 1960, after winning the Interandino cup that year. The team's three subsequent Interandino victories did not lead to a national title; the club's best performance was a third place finish in 1964.

Foreign players became integral to the squad during the 1960s. International players included São Paulo (state) José Gomes Nogueira in 1960, Chilean Román Soto in 1961, and Paraguayan José María Ocampo in 1966.

National success, relegation, and comeback (1967–1989)

In 1967, all regional tournaments were discontinued in favor of a single Serie A de Ecuador. Liga won its first national championship in 1969, one year after joining the new league, under the leadership of Brazilian José Gomes Nogueira. Liga's ranks at the time included Francisco Bertocchi, Jorge Tapia, Armando "Tito" Larrea, Carlos Ríos, Santiago Alé, Enrique Portilla, and Ramiro Tobar. Liga's victory granted the club its first Copa Libertadores participation in Copa Libertadores 1970, where it reached the second phase of the tournament, with "El Tano" Bertocchi tying for the title of top goalscorer of the tournament.

LDU Quito's success was short-lived; in 1972, the club finished seventh of the eight teams participating in the Serie A. At the time, only four teams from the province of Pichincha could play in the top flight. As the worst-performing Pichincha team, Liga took part in a playoff match against the best-performing Pichincha team in Serie B, Club Deportivo Universidad Católica del Ecuador, for a berth in the next season's Serie A tournament. Liga lost the match, relegating it to Serie B for the 1973 season, at the end of which the club faced a second relegation, down to the Segunda Categoria of Ecuadorian football. The club was able to gain promotion back to the Serie B in time for the 1974 season. After winning the first stage of the 1974 Serie B, Liga returned to the Serie A after two years in the lower flights. Liga's rise continued as the team won their second national title after defeating Club Deportivo El Nacional. The success was followed by another title win in 1975, marking Liga's first back-to-back national championships. Liga's Copa Libertadores 1975 and Copa Libertadores 1976 Copa Libertadores participations saw the squad twice reach the semifinals of the continental tournament. Key to Liga's success were players Polo Carrera, Oscar Zubia, Jorge Tapia, Gustavo Tapia, Walter Maesso, Juan Carlos Gómez, Ramiro Tobar, Juan José Pérez, and Roberto Sussman, along with Colombian coach Leonel Montoya. Liga would round out the decade with a runners-up finish in 1977, allowing for another Copa Libertadores participation in Copa Libertadores 1978.

In contrast to the team's good performances after coming back from relegation, the 1980s were a dismal decade for the club. Liga's best performance during that period was a runners-up finish in 1981, and a subsequent Copa Libertadores participation in Copa Libertadores 1982. Player Paulo Cesar was the top Serie A goalscorer in 1981.

Rise to powerhouse status (1990–present)

In the two decades since 1990, LDU Quito enjoyed a period of domestic success. They started the 1990s with a national title, edging established powerhouse Barcelona Sporting Club. Before the end of the decade, Liga won two more national titles in 1998 and 1999. The 1998 title was won the year Liga inaugurated their new stadium, La Casa Blanca, and ended with an impressive 7–0 win over Club Sport Emelec.

In 2000, the club experienced a period of crisis. This crisis resulted in a poor performance in the national league and Liga was relegated to the Serie B that season. The club mananged to bounce back from relegation and won the Serie B in 2001 to gain promotion back to the Serie A. Two years later in 2003, Liga won their 7th national title. Liga added another three more national titles in 2005 Apertura, 2007, and the most recent season in 2010 to bring their current count to ten, placing them third all-time domestically. Their seven titles since 1990 is the most of any team in that period.

International success (2008–present)

Prior to 2008, Liga had participated in sixteen international/continental tournaments. Their best success in South American football at the beginning of 2008 was reaching the semifinals of the 1975 Copa Libertadores, the 1976 Copa Libertadores, and the 2004 Copa Sudamericana.

On July 2, 2008, Liga became the first-ever Ecuadorian team to 2008 Copa Libertadores, after defeating Fluminense Football Club by 3–1 in a penalty shootout, after 2008 Copa Libertadores Final. LDU Quito's Libertadores title gained the club an automatic berth in the semi-finals of the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup, becoming the first non-Argentine or Brazilian CONMEBOL squad to participate in the tournament. Liga defeated C.F. Pachuca by 2–0 in their semifinal match, advancing to the final against 2007-08 UEFA Champions League winners Manchester United F.C.. Liga lost the final, which was played on December 21 at Yokohama, Japan, by a score of 1–0.

In June 2009, Liga, as the 2008 Copa Libertadores champion, participated in the 2009 Recopa Sudamericana against the 2008 Copa Sudamericana champion Sport Club Internacional of Porto Alegre, Brazil. LDU Quito won the first leg, played at Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre, by a score of 1–0, with a goal from Claudio Bieler. In the second leg, played at La Casa Blanca, Liga won 3–0 with goals from Carlos Espínola (footballer), Claudio Bieler, and Enrique Vera. The 2009 Recopa title was Liga's second international title, as well as being the second international title ever achieved by any Ecuadorian club.

Soon after the Recopa victory, Liga earned their third international trophy in their history, the 2009 Copa Sudamericana. In a rematch of the 2008 Copa Libertadores Final, Liga edged Fluminense Football Club with a better goal difference over two legs by winning impressively at home 5–1 and losing 3–0 in Rio de Janeiro. On their way to the finals, they disposed of important clubs from all over South America, such as Club Libertad of Paraguay, Argentina clubs Club Atlético Lanús and Club Atlético Vélez Sársfield, and Uruguayan club Club Atlético River Plate (Uruguay).

With the Copa Sudamericana title, Liga is one of three teams to have won CONMEBOL's treble. Liga achieved this feat in exactly 17 months, less than the other clubs to have done that. Additionally, they qualified to play in the 2010 Recopa Sudamericana against Argentina club Estudiantes de La Plata. They won the first leg 2–1 with both goals coming from Hernán Barcos. The win at home in the first leg was enough to secure the title after both team drew the second leg 0–0. Liga became the third team to win back-to-back Recopa Sudamericanas.

Colors and badge

Historically, Liga's badge consisted of a large red capital-letter "U" in the Courier (typeface). This logo was used from 1950 to 1996. In 1997, the team adopted the current badge in use today. The red and blue colors in the inverted triangle are those from the flag of the city of Quito. For a number of years, the badge had blue stars on the top, one for each national championship. This was discontinued in the mid-2000s. After their success in international club football, the club began to add gold starts to the top of the badge for each international trophy won. To date, there are four gold stars.

As indicated by their nickname, los Albos (The Whites), Liga's kit is historically all-white, with the team's crest over the left breast. The current alternate kit is black in color with gold detailing. Previous alternate kits were grey with orange detailing, gold with grey detailing, red with gold detailing (all three domestic alternates), and black with red detailing (for the Copa Libertadores). During 2008, special kits were worn for the Copa Sudamericana (gold kit) and the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup (black kit). Umbro is the team's kit provider, and American credit card company Diners Club International is the team's current shirt sponsor since 2011. Coca-Cola and Chevrolet are also sponsors.


Liga has used four stadiums for their home stadium. Their first stadium was Estadio Universitario César Aníbal Espinoza, on the grounds of the Universidad Central del Ecuador. In 1932, Liga moved to Estadio El Ejido, where a number of other teams in Quito used as a home ground. In 1962, Liga moved to Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa, along with a number of other teams from the city. They would use that stadium as a home ground until 1996.

In 1997, LDU Quito inaugurated their own stadium, Estadio de Liga Deportiva Universitaria, in the northern part of the city. It is the largest stadium in Quito in terms of capacity, and the second largest in Ecuador after the Estadio Monumental Banco Pichincha in Guayaquil. The stadium officially opened on March 5, 1997 in a match against Brazilian club Clube Atlético Mineiro. Liga won the match 3–1.

Since its inauguration, the Casa Blanca has been home to Liga's greatest period of success and is often unbeatable at the stadium. They have had five victory laps (vueltas olimpicas) in the stadium since it was inaugurated for four national titles and one international title (two national title and three international titles were sealed elsewhere in the same time period). Interestingly, Barcelona Sporting Club, Ecuador's most popular and successful team nationally, has never defeated Liga in their new stadium.


LDU Quito is one of the most supported clubs in Ecuador. According to a recent study, Liga has the largest Fan (person) of any team in Quito and the Regions of Ecuador Sierra of Ecuador, commanding 46% and 38% of the fanbase, respectively. Nationally, Liga is the country's second or third most popular team in the country. Historically, the team has been considered the third most popular team in the country, but recent domestic and international success has increased their fanbase nationwide.

The club's fans and supporters are known as liguistas (singular: liguista). The team's most noted ultras are known as La Muerte Blanca . During home games, these fans situate themselves in the southern general stands of the Casa Blanca where they fervently cheer for Liga using large banners, flares, and drums.


Over the years, Liga accumulated a number of nicknames. Because of their traditional white uniforms, they are often called Los Merengues (The Meringues), Los Azucenas (The Lilies), or more commonly Los Albos (The Whites). Their roots at the Central University of Ecuador earned them the nicknames Los Centrales and Los Universitarios (The Collegiates). Their rarely used nickname La Bordadora (The Stitching) was given based on their style of play. Due to their recent international success, they are often called Rey de Copas (King of Cups).


LDU Quito has formed a number of footballing rivalries throughout its history. Their longest-standing rivalry is with Sociedad Deportiva Aucas, a southern Quito club founded in 1945, making the two clubs the oldest in the city still in existence. Liga-Aucas matches are referred to as Superclásico de Quito , and the rivalry traces its history back to the first match on February 1, 1945, which ended in a 1–1 tie. A second match, played on February 18, 1945, ended in a 2–2 draw. At the end of the 90 minutes, the game was 2–1; the timekeeper ended the match, but the referee did not notice, allowing the game to continue into extra time, where Aucas equalized the score. The Superclásico has not been played in official competitions since 2006, when Aucas was relegated to the Ecuadorian Serie B.

In the absence of intense rivalry with Aucas, Liga and its fans have developed a strong rivalry with Sociedad Deportivo Quito. The Clásico Capitalino is now the most important game in Quito and is considered a "must win" game of the season. In 2008 and 2009, the match had national championship implications that exacerbated the rivalry to a greater degree.

The small number of teams in the Ecuadorian Ecuadorian Serie A means that matches between any two teams are played several times during the year, allowing important rivalries to develop between most of the teams. LDU Quito has rivalries with a number of teams in Quito: Club Deportivo El Nacional, the Clásico Universitario against Club Deportivo Universidad Católica del Ecuador and now-defunct club Politécnico; and also with teams from around the country, including Guayaquilean club Barcelona Sporting Club.


Out on loan

Notable players

Listed according to debut.
Early players

- Wilson Andrade
- Luis Armas
- Eduardo Bores
- Primo Caballero
- Pio Coutinho
- Ángel Espinoza
- Raúl Jiménez
- Armando Larrea
- Bolívar León
- Luis López
- Hugo Mantilla
- Héctor Morales

- Marco Moreno
- César Mosquera
- Enrique Portilla
- Gem Rivadeneira
- Clemente Rodríguez
- Pablo Salazar
- Oscar Sapia
- Manuel Stacey
- Luis Vásquez
- Eduardo Zambrano
- Mario Zambrano


- Santiago Alé
- Adolfo Bolaños
- Luis de Carlos (footballer)
- Walter Maesso
- José Vicente Moreno
- César Muñoz (footballer)
- Juan José Pérez
- Carlos Ríos
- Jorge Tapia

- Roberto Ortega (1958–1961)
- Polo Carrera (1960–1968; 1975–1978; 1982–1984)
- Francisco Bertocchi (1969–1970)
- Oscar Zubía (1972–1978)
- Diego Herrera (1985–1993; 1995–1997)
- Juan Guamán (1986–2000)
- Pietro Marsetti (1987–1997)


- Carlos Ernesto Berrueta (1990–1992; 1994)
- Luis González (Ecuadorian footballer) (1992–2005)
- Santiago Jácome (1995–2007)
- Nixon Carcelén (1996–2001; 2003–2004)
- Álex Escobar (1997–2000; 2002–2005)
- Jacinto Espinoza (1997–2000; 2002–2005)
- Ulises de la Cruz (1997–1999; 2000; 2009– )

- Energio Díaz (1997–2000)
- Giovanny Espinoza (1997–2007)
- Eduardo Hurtado (1997–2000)
- Néicer Reasco (1997–2006; 2008– )
- Alfonso Obregón (1997–2000; 2002–2009)
- Carlos María Morales (1998)


- Paúl Ambrosi (2000–2009; 2010– )
- Franklin Salas (2000–2007; 2008–2010)
- Carlos Tenorio (2001–2003)
- Luis Bolaños (2002–2004; 2007–2008; 2011)
- Carlos Espínola (footballer) (2003–2006; 2009–2010)
- Elkin Murillo (2003–2006)
- Patricio Urrutia (2003–2009; 2010– )
- Álex Aguinaga (2004–2005)
- Jairo Campos (2005–2009)
- Ariel Graziani (2005–2006)
- Édison Méndez (2005–2006; 2009–2010; 2012- )
- Cristian Mora (2005–2008)
- Roberto Palacios (2005–2006)

- Diego Calderón (2006– )
- Alexander Domínguez (2006– )
- Joffre Guerrón (2006–2008)
- Enrique Vera (2006–2008; 2009–2010; 2011– )
- Agustín Delgado (2006–2009)
- Norberto Araujo (2007– )
- Renán Calle (2007–2010)
- Damián Manso (2007–2009; 2012-)
- William Araujo (2008–2011)
- José Francisco Cevallos (2008–2011)
- Claudio Bieler (2008–2009; 2011– )
- Miller Bolaños (2009–2011)
- Hernán Barcos (2010–2011)

Top scorers

LDU Quito has had six players become the season top-scorer in the Serie A, five players become the top-scorer in the Campeaonato Profesional Interandino, three players as the top-scorer in the Copa Libertadores, one player become the top-scorer in the Copa Sudamericana, and one player become the top-scorer in the Copa CONMEBOL. The team's all-time top scorer is José Vicente Moreno, with 68 goals.

Serie A
- Pio Coutinho (1966, 13 goals)
- Francisco Bertocchi (1969, 26 goals)
- Paulo César Evangelista (1981, 25 goals)
- Janio Pinto (1988, 18 goals)
- Diego Herrera (1993, 21 goals)
- Claudio Bieler (2009, 22 goals)

- Eduardo Bores (1954, 8 goals)
- Armando Larrea (1963, 7 goals)
- Epifanio Brizuela (1963, 7 goals)
- Nelson Cabezas (1963, 7 goals)
- Pio Coutinho (1967, 7 goals)

Copa Libertadores
- Francisco Bertocchi (1970 Copa Libertadores, 9 goals)
- Agustín Delgado (2006 Copa Libertadores, 5 goals)
- Patricio Urrutia (2006 Copa Libertadores, 5 goals)
Copa Sudamericana
- Claudio Bieler (2009 Copa Sudamericana, 8 goals)
- Carlos María Morales (1998, 4 goals)

World Cup players

The following players were chosen to represent their country at the FIFA World Cup while contracted to LDU Quito.

- Paúl Ambrosi (2006)
- Agustín Delgado (2006)
- Édison Méndez (2006)
- Cristian Mora (2006)
- Giovanny Espinoza (2006)

- Alfonso Obregón (2002)
- Néicer Reasco (2006)
- Carlos Tenorio (2002)
- Patricio Urrutia (2006)
- Enrique Vera (2010)


Noted managers

The following managers won at least one trophy when in charge of LDU Quito, in addition to the first manager:
- Bolívar León (first manager)
- César Jácome Moscoso (won the 1932 amateur Pichincha)
- Luis Vásquez (won the 1952 & 1953 amateur Pichincha and the 1954 Interandino)
- Roberto Eliseo Ortega (won the 1958 Interandino)
- José Gomes Nogueira (won the 1960 Interandino and the 1969 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A)
- Román Soto Vergara (won the 1961 Interandino)
- José María Ocampo (won the 1966 & 1967 Interandino)
- Leonel Montoya (won promotion in 1973 and won the 1974 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A and 1975 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A)
- Polo Carrera (won the 1990 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A)
- Paulo Massa (won the 1998 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A)
- Manuel Pellegrini (won the 1999 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A)
- Julio Asad (won the 2001 Serie B and promotion to the Serie A)
- Jorge Fossati (first tenure, won the 2003 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A; second tenure, won the 2009 Recopa Sudamericana and 2009 Copa Sudamericana)
- Juan Carlos Oblitas (won the 2005 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A Apertura)
- Edgardo Bauza (first tenure, won the 2007 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A and 2008 Copa Libertadores; second tenure, won the 2010 Recopa Sudamericana and the 2010 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A)


LDU Quito is one of the most successful clubs in the history of Ecuadorian football, with nine regional titles, ten national titles, and four international titles. Liga won three amateur titles in the Interandino amateur era, tying them for third overall with Gimnástico. In the Interandino's professional era, Liga won six titles, which makes them the most successful team. Nationally, the club has won ten national titles, the last one in 2010. Their national title count places them third overall behind Barcelona Sporting Club, Club Deportivo El Nacional (both with thirteen titles), and tied with Club Sport Emelec. Liga is the only Ecuadorian club have won international titles, of which they have won four.

- Campeonato Amateur del Fútbol de Pichincha (3): 1932, 1952, 1953
- Campeonato Professional Interandino (6): 1954, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1966, 1967
- Ecuadorian Serie A (10): 1969 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A, 1974 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A, 1975 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A, 1990 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A, 1998 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A, 1999 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A, 2003 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A, 2005 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A Apertura, 2007 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A, 2010 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A
- Ecuadorian Serie B (2): 1974 E1, 2001
- File:CONMEBOL - Liberators Cup.svg Copa Libertadores (1): 2008 Copa Libertadores
- File:CONMEBOL - Copa Sudamericana.svg Copa Sudamericana (1): 2009 Copa Sudamericana
- File:CONMEBOL recopa trophy.svg Recopa Sudamericana (2): 2009 Recopa Sudamericana, 2010 Recopa Sudamericana

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