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Club Universitario de Deportes, also known as Universitario, or more popularly as [La] "U", is a Peruvianmarker football club located in Limamarker. It is the most successful football club in Perumarker. It was founded in 1924 as Federación Universitaria by professors and students of the National University of San Marcosmarker but was forced to rename in 1931. Since 1928, the club has always played in the top tier of Peruvian football, the top division of Peru (Torneo Descentralizado). Since 2000, its home games are played at the Estadio Monumental, the largest in Peru. Universitario and Alianza Lima are involved in a derby called the Peruvian Superclásico, which started in 1928.

Universitario has won twenty-four first division titles, more than any other club in Peru, and was the first Peruvian club to reach the final of the Copa Libertadores. The club won its first national title in 1929, one year after its debut in the first division. Its first Bi-Championship (bicampeonato) title was won in the seasons of 1945 and 1946. Its last title, won in 2000, was also its Tri-Championship title. Universitario is one of the two most popular teams in Peru. Universitario's youth team is América Cochahuayco which currently participates in the Peruvian Segunda División.

According to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, an international organization recognized by FIFAmarker, Universitario was the best Peruvian club of the 20th century and the 28th most successful South America.


Early years

The club was founded on August 7, 1924 as Federación Universitaria by students and professors of the National University of San Marcosmarker such as José Rubio—the first president—and Dr. Luis Málaga—the creator of the badge. Others present during the foundation were Plácido Galindo, Eduardo Astengo, Mario de las Casas, Alberto Denegri, Luis de Souza Ferreyra and Andrés Rotta. At first, Federacion Universitaria was a small league that held tournaments between the faculty departments of the university.

The National Sports Committee (El Comité Nacional de Deportes)—the highest-ranking sports committee of Perumarker at the time—recognized Federación Universitaria as an official league; along with other small leagues in Limamarker and Callaomarker. They all joined the Peruvian Football Federation (Federación Peruana de Fútbol, FPF). Although there was no requirement to play a tournament in order to be promoted to the Primera División, the club did not play in it between 1924 and 1927. During this period it only played friendly matches with other teams.

In 1928, the FPF finally allowed the club to enter the Primera División. The club surprised opposing and supporting fans that year because they ended as runner-ups of that season. During that season, on September 23, 1928, Universitario played the first Superclásico with Alianza Lima, the defending champion at the time, and won 1-0. However, it lost to Alianza in the final 2-0. The following year Universitario won its first tournament and was crowned as Peruvian champion, preventing Alianza Lima from winning a third consecutive title.

In 1931, the rector of the university, José Antonio Encinas, forbade the club to use the name Federación Universitaria in their team name. As a result, the club changed its name to Universitario de Deportes retaining the symbolic “U” in their name.

Copa Libertadores 1972

In 1971, Universitario won its fourteenth Primera División title and qualified for the 1972 edition of the Copa Libertadores under the Uruguayan head coach Roberto Scarone along with Alianza Lima who placed second that season. They were grouped with the Chilean teams Unión San Felipe and Universidad de Chile in Group 4. Universitario's first game was the Peruvian Superclásico which it won 2-1. The following game was held in Santiago de Chilemarker against Universidad de Chile where it lost 1-0. Universitario later tied with the other Chilean team in Santiago. Universitario returned to Lima to face Alianza Lima again where they tied 2-2. At that point Universitario and Universidad de Chile had accumulated 4 points while Alianza and Unión San Felipe had 3. Universitario won the remaining games against the Chilean teams in Lima, obtaining 8 points and qualifying for the next round.

Universitario was grouped with the Uruguayan clubs Peñarol—a three-time winner of the Copa Libertadores—and Nacional—the previous edition's winner—in the semi-final group stage. La U started off losing their first match against Peñarol in Lima. In that match, La U did not play with five of their starting players because they were called to play for the Peru national football team. However, they won the following game against Nacional 3-0. They then visited both teams in Montevideo tieing both games, 3-3 against Nacional and 1-1 against Peñarol. Universitario had accumulated 4 points and there was only one game left between Peñarol and Nacional, which had 4 and 2 points respectively. All three teams had a chance of qualifying for the next round. Peñarol only needed a win but Nacional needed a win by 5 goals. The game ended 3-0 in favor of Nacional allowing Universitario to qualify for the final round where they would face Independiente.

The first leg of the final was played in Lima where they tied 0-0. The game in Argentina ended 2-1 in favor of the Argentines; Percy Rojas scored the late goal for Universitario. This was Percy Rojas' sixth goal in the tournament. He, along with Teófilo Cubillas, Oswaldo Ramírez, and Toninho, were the top-scorers. Although Universitario lost, they had achieved something a Peruvian club had never before, reach the final of the Copa Libertadores, the most prestigious international competition in South America.


Universitario celebrates its 2008 Apertura title after beating Cienciano 3-1.

By winning in 1998, 1999, and 2000, Universitario won their first Tri-Championship (Tricampeonato, or three consecutive titles). The 1998 title was won under Oswaldo Piazza, Miguel Company and Roberto Challe led the club to the other two titles. It was the third Peruvian team to do this; the first being Alianza Lima and the second Sporting Cristal. Universitario has not won another league title since 2000. It was also during the 2000 season that they were the second Peruvian club to win an Apertura and Clausura in a single season; the first being Alianza Lima in 1997. In the Copa Libertadores, Universitario made it to the Round of 16 in 1998 but lost to Velez Sarsfield. In 1999 and 2000 they could not get past the group stage. Universitario also qualified for all four editions of the Copa Merconorte between 1999 and 2001 but did not have a lot of success due to being eliminated in the group stage.

Recent years

In 2002, Universitario beat Alianza Lima in the Apertura playoff but were unable to finish in the top four of the 2002 Clausura and were not able to dispute the national title. With the Apertura title they qualified for the 2003 Copa Libertadores but did not get past the group stage. In 2005, Universitario placed first on the aggregate table and qualified for the 2006 Copa Libertadores, where they won on away goals against Nacional in the preliminary round—2-2 in Paraguay and 0-0 in Peru; despite entering the competition with high hopes they did not get past the group stage.

Universitario qualified for the 2007 Copa Sudamericana under Jorge Amado Nunes by finishing fifth on the aggregate table in the 2006 season. They came close to qualify for the 2007 Copa Libertadores by tying with Cienciano in the Clausura and losing to them in the playoff. Before the start of the 2007 season, Nunes was dismissed from the team as manager and temporarily replaced by the Colombian Edgar Ospina. However, after the newly-elected president Gino Pinasco took charge, Nunes was re-hired and dismissed again. His assistant manager Julio Gomez took over and led them in the Copa Sudamericana 2007 but were eliminated in the preliminary round by Atlético Nacional 0-1 in Peru and 1-0 in Colombia. During the 2007 season, Julio Gómez produced poor results for the club which led the club to replace him with the Argentine Ricardo Gareca. Under Gareca, Universitario once again almost came close to qualify for the Copa Libertadores but fell short one point to Coronel Bolognesi. They finished 4th on the aggregate table and qualified for the 2008 Copa Sudamericana.

Ricardo Gareca continued to be the manager of Universitario in 2008 and won the Apertura tournament after 6 years. The last time they won a title was in 2002 and it was also an Apertura. They won the tournament on their twenty-second game 10 points ahead of Sporting Cristal and four games away from the end of the Apertura. They defeated Cienciano 3-1 to secure first place and accumulated 50 points to win the title. They qualified for the 2009 Copa Libertadores.

As of 2008, Universitario has twenty-four Primera División titles. The first seven titles won by Universitario were during the amateur era. The remaining seventeen titles were won during the professional era, the most any Peruvian club has. In 2000, Universitario became the second Peruvian club to have won an Apertura and Clausura. Universitario won the 2008 Apertura but did not finish in the top seven of the Clausura and consequently could not contest the playoff for the national championship. In the 2009 Copa Libertadores, the team was eliminated by goal difference.

Colors and badge

Jersey used by the club during the 2002 season in which they won the Apertura tournament.

Universitario's colors are cream (crema in Spanish), red, burgundy (guinda in Spanish), and black. When playing a home game they use the cream-colored kit with black socks and when playing away they use the burgundy-colored kit with black socks.

The club's colors at first were not cream. They started out with a white kit which had the badge on the chest. During one of their early seasons, Universitario could not participate in an upcoming match because their uniforms had been sent to the laundry to be washed. The managers pleaded that they hurry with the laundry and they quickly washed them. However, when the club received the jerseys, they found that they were no longer white, but yellow. The laundry workers had forgotten to remove the badges from the jerseys and consequently the red color from the badges mixed with the white jerseys giving it a yellow tint. The club had no choice but to use the jersey to play. They managed to win that game and a few others as well and thus the club kept the new-colored kit as a good-luck charm.

The badge is a red U inside a red circle drawn by Luis Malaga, one of the founders of the club.


Universitario's first stadium was Estadio Lolo Fernandez. It had a capacity of 15,000. Its capacity was reduced to 4,000 and now serves as a football academy for its club members and hosts football games for the Segunda División reserve team América Cochahuayco and youth teams in the youth divisions. It was built in honor of Teodoro “Lolo” Fernandez, Universitario's most revered player.

Estadio Monumental is a stadium that was built by the Peruvian construction company GREMCO throughout the 1990s and opened in 2000, replacing Estadio Lolo Fernandez and the Nacionalmarker. The inauguration game was between Universitario and Sporting Cristal; Universitario won 2-0. It was given to Universitario the same year it was opened and they now own the largest stadium in Peru with a capacity of 80,093. This stadium is the third largest in South America. Its eastern and western stands are all-seaters and its northern and southern stands have standing terraces. Exactly 1,251 luxury boxes, known as palcos, are above the stands.

The stadium was deemed not fit to host the classic derby between Universitario and Alianza Lima between 2002 and 2007 by the Peruvian Police. The first time this stadium hosted the derby was on June 26, 2002—the first leg of the Apertura playoff—where Universitario won 1-0. Alianza's fans, in the southern stand, reacted violently to the loss by vandalizing the premises and causing two reported stabbings. Consequently, La U was forced to play all future derbies at Estadio Nacional where the Instituto Peruano del Deporte installed artificial turf which is constantly criticized by the First Division players. For the next five years this derby was not played at this stadium. On September 14, 2008, the derby returned to the Estadio Monumental with a loss for Universitario.

It is interesting to note that this stadium was rejected as a venue for the Copa América 2004 because of problems with Alfredo Gonzalez, President of Universitario de Deportes, and the stadium's owners. Many saw this as a typical bullying behavior on the part of the president since this stadium would have been the perfect venue to host the 2004 Copa América intro as well as final games.

Panoramic view of Universitario's 80,293-seater stadium on the day Universitario and Alianza Lima played in the Monumental for the second time.


Universitario's supporters are one of largest in Peru, only rivaled by Alianza Lima's supporters. Universitario's supporters are known as Barra Oriente and Trinchera Norte. Asociación Barra Dale U, the official name of the Barra Oriente, started in 1968 that notably grew over the years. Trinchera Norte is a barra brava that was formed in 1988.

The two most popular teams in Peru are Universitario and Alianza Lima. They are at the top of the polls conducted by many different groups. The group Apoyo, Opinion y Mercado interviewed young adults between 2001 and 2003. Alianza Lima was first and Universitario second in all the polls. Another poll published by the same group in 2006 revealed that Alianza Lima is popular amongst 35%, followed by Universitario, with 32%. In 2002 a study by the University of Lima showed that Universitario was first with 33.4% and Alianza Lima followed with 27%. In 2005, their results revealed a smaller gap. Universitario was the most popular team in Lima and Callao with 31.7% followed by Alianza Lima with 29.3%. However, in 2006 and 2007 Alianza Lima appeared first in the polls. There was a narrow margin in 2007 as Alianza Lima reached 29.6% and Universitario followed with 29.5% The results in 2008 and 2009 published by the University of Lima claim that Alianza Lima is still the most popular team in Lima and Callao. Another group known as CPI, revealed that Universitario was favored by 32% as the most popular team in Peru. Alianza Lima claimed second in this poll. In 2009, CPI released another poll indicating the Universitario was still the most popular team in Peru with 38.6% while Alianza reached 33.1%. The University PUCP also published its popularity results and it revealed that Alianza Lima is the most popular team in Peru with 24% and Universitario followed with 20%. An online poll indicates that Universitario is the most popular team in Peru. A total of 5,056 people voted in this poll. 45% voted for Universitario and 26% voted for Alianza Lima. A survey conducted by Grupo de Opinión Pública de la Universidad de Lima in February, 2009, said that Alianza Lima ranked first in popularity with 27.2%; Universitario second with 26.6%. However, a second poll released by the same university in September of the same year ranked Universitario first with 37.9% and Alianza second with 36.6%. The difference between the polls was the fact that 558 were interviewed in the first poll and 6,192 were interviewed in the second poll.

Current squad


As of January 29, 2009


Out on loan

As of August 26, 2009

 until December 2009

Retired Numbers

As of August 26, 2009

Technical staff

Position Name
Manager Juan Reynoso
Assistant Manager Ricardo Ortega
Assistant Manager Eusebio Flores
First-team Coach William Romero
Physiotherapist Luis Sihuay
Physiotherapist Luis Yupanqui
Goalkeeping Coach Miguel Miranda
Fitness and Conditioning Coach Mario Mendaña

Notable players

Noted managers








President Period
José Rubio 1924-1928
Mario De las Casas 1928-1930
Andres Rotta 1930-1931
Andres Echevarria 1931-1939
José Merino 1939-1941
Alfredo Hohagen 1941-1944
Jorge Alva 1944-1946
Eduardo Astengo 1946-1950
Carlos Cilloniz 1950-1954
Plácido Galindo 1954-1963
Rafael Quiroz 1963-1973
Carlos Melzi 1973-1976
Cecil Griffiths 1976-1978
Miguel Pellny 1978-1983
Rafael Quiroz 1983-1986
Jorge Nicolini 1986-1995
Alfredo Gonzáles 1995-2000
William Flores 2000-2001
Javier Aspauza 2001-2003
Alfredo Gonzáles 2003-2005
Julio Gamarra 2005-2006
Fausto Miranda 2006-2007
Gino Pinasco 2007-2010


National tournaments

Friendly domestic tournaments

  • Copa de Verano:
    • Winners (1): 2005
  • Campeonato Zona Metro Plácido Galindo:
    • Runner-ups (1):1989.

Friendly international tournaments

  • Copa El Gráfico-Perú
    • Winners (1): 2000
  • Copa 50 Aniversario Club Sporting Cristal
    • Winners (1): 2006

Performance in CSF competitions

  • Copa Libertadores: 26 appearances (1961, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1979, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009.)
  • Copa CONMEBOL: 2 appearances (1992, 1997)
    • Semifinalist (1): 1997.
  • Copa Merconorte: 4 appearances (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001)
  • Copa Sudamericana: 4 appearances (2002, 2005, 2007, 2008)


Club Ranking for 2008-09 (Previous year rank in italics, IFFHS Club Coefficients in parentheses)


Top Strikers

Year Player Nationality GF
2008 Donny Neyra 16
Héctor Hurtado
2007 Johan Fano 19
2006 Piero Alva 16
2005 Piero Alva 12
2004 Ysrael Zúñiga 11
2003 Paul Cominges 15
2002 Martín Vilallonga 10
2001 Sergio Ibarra 15
2000 Eduardo Esidio 37
1999 Roberto Farfán 23
1998 Roberto Farfán 17
1997 Cesar Charún 12
1996 Adrián Czornomaz 20
1995 Germán Carty 17
1994 Andrés Gonzáles
1993 Andrés Gonzáles
1992 Ronald Baroni
1990 Juan Carlos Letelier
1988 Juvenal Briceño

Year Player Nationality GF
1987 Fidel Suarez 20
1986 Juvenal Briceño 16
1984 Jaime Drago 13
1982 Percy Rojas 19
1978 Juan José Oré 19
1964 Angel Uribe 15
1959 Daniel Ruiz 28
1957 Daniel Ruiz 20
1956 Daniel Ruiz 16
1950 Alberto Terry 16
1945 Teodoro Fernández 16
1944 Victor Espinoza 6
1943 Germán Cerro 9
1942 Teodoro Fernández 11
1940 Teodoro Fernández 15
1939 Teodoro Fernández 15
1934 Teodoro Fernández 9
1933 Teodoro Fernández 9
1932 Teodoro Fernández 11
1929 Carlos Cillóniz 8



  2. Naturalized Peruvians
  3. Bold scores indicate season's top scorer.

External links

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