The Strongest is a Bolivian football club based in La Paz founded on April 8, 1908. Their team colours are yellow and black. Although they have a home ground, the Rafael Mendoza Castellón (capacity: 15,000), they play most of their games at the Hernando Siles, Bolivia's national ground (capacity: 42,000). The club is the only Bolivian team to have played continuously in the country's top Division for a century. The Strongest is also the oldest active soccer club in the country.
In 1930, The Strongest became the first and only Bolivian team to win a League championship with no goals scored against them. The same year, The Strongest inaugurated the "Hernando Siles" stadium, with a 4-1 victory against its classical rival (at the time), Universitario.
In 1965, The Strongest participated in its first Copa Libertadores, at a time when only national champions were entered into the tournament. The Strongest scored Bolivia's first victory outside of the country on a club level, defeating Deportivo Quito. The team finished 2nd in its group that year, second to Boca Juniors (Argentina).
The highest achievement in an international competition for The strongest was achieved in the 2005 Copa Sudamericana, when the squad led by coach Villegas eliminated its classic rivals with two 2-1 victories in La Paz, in front of a packed stadium. Later, the team went on to defeat Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito (Ecuador) - including a 3-0 victory in Quito, marking the most important victory outside of the country for a Bolivian squad. The Strongest was eliminated by Pumas UNAM (Mexico), who later went on to become runners-up to cup winners Boca Juniors (Argentina).
On September 26, the day the team was due to return from Santa Cruz by plane, it was announced that the aircraft carrying most of the team had disappeared, incidentally the same day that a military government was being established in Bolivia.
With no real information as to what had happened, 24 hours later the country received the news that the plane had crashed around a rural area called Viloco (between the Tres Cruces Peaks). All 69 passengers and 9 crew members died. Upon hearing the news, families of the victims, local authorities and a substantial number of fans went to help search for the bodies of the players and staff.
The members of the team who died that day were: Eustáquio Ortuño (Coach), José Ayllón (manager), Felipe Aguilar (staff). The 16 players that died were: Armando Angelacio, Hernán Andretta, Orlando Cáceres, Juan Iriondo, Jorge Durán, Julio Díaz, Héctor Marchetti, Angel Porta, Jorge Tapia, Ernesto Villegas, Germán Alcázar, Eduardo Arrigó, Oswaldo Franco, Raúl Farfán, Oscar Flores and Diógenes Torrico.
The Strongest is the first club to win an organized football Championship in the country (Copa Prefectural 1911, organized by the regional government)
The Strongest is the first team to win an offical title (organized by an official football entity) (Campeonato Liga 1914, organized by the LPFA)
The Strongest is the first team to win the country's current Top Division title: Liga Profesional de Fútbol Boliviano (1977)
The Strongest is the first undefeated champion in the country (1914 League, 6 wins and 1 tie).
The Strongest is the first multiple champion of the Bolivian football (six straight league titles after 1916).
The Strongest is the only team to finish a season with no goals scored against (1930 LPFA Championship).
The Strongest is the only team to have win all the official titles in an entire decade (between 1916 and 1925).
The Strongest is the only Bolivian team to win a title in several categories (Champion LPFA 1914 and Champion Second Division 1914).
The Strongest is the only team from the city of La Paz to play in the top division during its entire history.
The Strongest is the only "hexacampeon" (six consecutive league tiles) in the Bolivian football
The Strongest is the first Bolivian team to win a game abroad in an official cup (1-0 in Ecuador against Deportivo Quito for the 1965 Copa Libertadores de América .
The Strongest is the first team in South America to beat a Brazilian team with a difference of 3 goals in the Copa Libertadores de América (2001, 5-1 Juventude .
The Strongest is the only Bolivian club to achieve notoriety in other sports (Basketball, tennis, swimming and chess among others).
The Strongest is the only Bolivian team to reach the 100 year milestone playing in the top division.
The Strongest is the only football team in the world to have a battle named after it. in the Chaco War (1932 - 1935) the players, staff and members of the club enlisted in the Bolivian Army to defend the country against the Paraguayan attack. A division largely composed of these "stronguistas" played a vital part in the Bolivian Army's most important victory. As a result of that, the battle is named "Batalla de Cañada Strongest" in Bolivian history books.
The Strongest are the inspiration for English regional side The Strongest (Eng) who play both 11 and 5 a-side football in the Hull area.
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