Valencia Club de Fútbol are a Spanish football club based in Valencia. They play in La Liga and are one of the most successful and biggest clubs in Spanish football and European football. Valencia have won six La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey trophies, two Fairs Cups (which was the predecessor to the UEFA Cup), one UEFA Cup, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, and two UEFA Super Cups. They also reached two UEFA Champions League finals in a row, losing to La Liga rivals Real Madrid in 2000 and then to German club Bayern Munich on penalties after a 1–1 draw in 2001. Valencia were also members of the G-14 group of leading European football clubs. In total, Valencia have reached seven major European finals, winning four of them.
Valencia and the Balearic Islands were conquered by King James I of Aragon during the first half of the 13th century. After the conquest the king gave them the status of independent kingdoms of whom he was also the king (but they were independent of Aragonese laws and institutions). The arms of Valencia show those of James I.
The unique crowned letters L besides the shield were granted by King James. The reason for the letters was that the city had been loyal twice to the King, hence twice a letter L and a crown for the king.
There are several possible explanations for the bat; one is that bats are simply quite common in the area. The second theory is that on 9 October 1238, when James I was about to enter the city, re-conquering it from the Moors, one bat landed on the top of his flag, and he interpreted it as a good sign. As he conquered the city, the bat was added to the arms.