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VALENCIA 2-1 VILLARREAL

Gaizka Mendieta whistled by Valencia fans during surprise Mestalla visit

The ex-Valencia player made a surprise appearance on the pitch at half-time but wasn't given a warm reception - he was roundly whistled by Mestalla...

Gaizka Mendieta whistled by Valencia fans during surprise Mestalla visit

There was an unexpected protagonist during yesterday's derby between Valencia and Villarreal. Gaizka Mendieta stepped back out onto the Mestalla pitch to take part in a publicity event but instead of applause for one of the great players to have donned the Valencia shirt, Mendieta was met with piercing whistles from the 38,000-strong crowd during his half-time appearance.

While Mendieta tried to explain to the home fans why he had come along, a large section of the home fans began whistling and jeering. One of the reasons why Mendieta has fallen out of favour with thoser who once idolised him was because he turned down an invitation to attend Valencia's centenary celebrations back in March. The former midfielder explained that he already had several other business committments booked at the same time in China - arrangements which he was unable to reschedule, meaning that he couldn't attend. 

Mendieta spent practically his whole career at Valencia - from 1992 until 2001. He decided to leave to try his luck at Lazio but never managed to reproduce the kind of scintilating form he had shown during his time at Mestalla. He was a member of the golden era at Valencia, winning the Intertoto Cup, the Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup.