So who are Inter Club d'Escaldes, Dundalk's Europa League Opponents?

Mon, Sep 14 2020

Fillippo Giovagnoli will be hoping he can lead Dundalk to some Europa League qualifying success Credit: Clare McCahill (ETPhotos)

Compared to Dundalk, Inter Club d’Escaldes are a new club on the block after only being brought into existence as late as 1991.

And since being relegated in 2015, the club have enjoyed a rapid ascent of sorts – playing in the Champions League qualifiers as recently as last month.

Who are Inter Club d'Escaldes? 

Escaldes were a founding member of the Andorran top-flight (named Primera Divisio) in 1995 and remained there until they were relegated in 2015.

Following two years of being in the Andorran second-tier, Escaldes were promoted back to the top-flight ahead of the 2017-18 season.

Last season, the Andorrans qualified for the Champions League by virtue of their league title success – their first since they entered the league in 1995.

They won the title last season, seeing off FC Santa Coloma to the top honours by a single point.

The club also play their home games at the Estadi Comunal Andorra la Vella, a ground that has a capacity of 1,300 spectators.

Who is their manager?

Chances are you may not have heard of Inter Club d’Escaldes boss Adolfo Baines – but may have heard of one or two of the clubs he used to play for during his playing days.

Baines was appointed as Inter Club d’Escaldes boss in August 2018 after previously being the assistant manager at both Gimnastic and Paradou FC.

As a player, Baines played for Getafe and Gimnastic de Tarrgona in the Spanish third tier, before he linked up with then second-tier outfit CD Badajoz.

From there the former goalkeeper also played for MK Dons and Tenerife before retiring. He soon took up a coaching role with Gimnastic before ending up in charge of the Andorran league champions.

What European pedigree do Inter Club d'Escaldes have?

Given the fact that the Andorrans have only played once in European competition previously, Inter Club Escaldes have very little European experience to call upon when they welcome Dundalk to the Pyrenees principality state.

Escaldes previous European tie saw them dumped out of the Champions League qualifiers by Kosovan champions Drita by a scoreline of two goals to one in Nyon, Switzerland.

Emili Garcia levelled for the Andorrans after they went behind but they fell behind again in first-half injury time.

Who to watch out for? 

Over the previous couple of seasons, Inter Club Escaldes have seen a whole host of established Andorran names join the club, none more so than Cristian Martinez who scored in Andorra’s 3 1 defeat away to the Republic of Ireland in 2010.

Escaldes also have a number of fellow Andorran internationals, with Sergi Moreno a 60-time capped international for his nation.

The Andorrans also have a former Premier League full-back in Federico Bassone. Bassone played for Swansea City during the 2011-12 season and also played for Swindon Town, Leeds United and Charlton Athletic in England.