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For the Spaniards from the holiday island of Gran Canaria it is the second appearance at the tournament in Altstätten following 2016. At their first appearance the UD Las Palmas came fourth. The team lost the semifinal to the subsequent tournament winners Atlético Paranaense. The City: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with around 400,000 inhabitants is the largest city on the Canary Islands and is situated in the north-east of the island. Founded as a military camp in 1478 and named after the palms trees which grow there, Las Palmas was a staging post for the Spaniards' voyages of discovery to the New World. For instance a certain Christopher Columbus stopped off here in 1492 in order to carry out repairs to his ships. Trading with slaves and sugar cane from the nearby African coast attracted many merchants, fishermen and craftspeople. Raids by pirates, poor harvests and epidemics repeatedly decimated the population however. In 1833 the port of Puerto de la Luz was constructed and Las Palmas became a significant trading port. With the advent of cruise ships at the beginning of the 20thcentury the first bathing tourists reached the island and the first hotels were erected. Today about one million passengers are processed with 550,000 of them alone from cruise ships and 25 m tons of goods are handled. The historic city of Las Palmas the "Vegueta" was put forward for inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The main square the Plaza Santa Ana is the site of the most famous building, the five-aisle Santa Ana cathedral of 1497. This also serves as the seat for the Bishop of the Canary Islands. As well as the tourist quarter of the city Santa Catalina, Las Palmas is home to various museums, theatres and four large beaches. Since 1990 Las Palmas also boasts a university. Visitors looking for a special festive experience visit the city in January, February and March during the carnival period. The Team: Unión Deportiva Las Palmas S.A.D was founded in 1949 with the merging of five clubs, the emblems of which are still to be found at the bottom of the club logo today. The merger was a prerequisite for inclusion in the Spanish football association and participation in the Spanish football championship. UD Las Palmas enjoyed its greatest success during a 19 year period from 1964 to 1983. During this period they were able to celebrate the vice championship in 1969, reach the cup final in 1978 as well as participate in the UEFA cup (predecessor of the Euro League). The 1990s and millennium were characterized by huge economic problems which brought the club to the verge of bankruptcy. This was a consequence of bad buying and continuous efforts to purchase promotion and establish the club in the Spanish premier division of the league at any price. Following an unprecedented process the current president Miguel Angel Ramirez took the club out of insolvency and saved it from ruin. Ramirez completely reorganized the club to put it on an economically sound footing. These efforts were rewarded in 2015 by promotion to the top division of the Spanish league. This promotion could already have been celebrated in 2014 - in their flush of victory the fans had been unable to wait for the whistle to end the match against Cordoba and stormed onto the pitch too early. After a lengthy disruption the referee blew the whistle to restart the match and in the minutes of extra time Cordoba shot the crucial equaliser to 1:1 which secured them promotion to the top division of the league. In the current season the UD Las Palmas players are again fighting relegation. The sixty one- year-old manager Francisco "Paco" Herrera, erstwhile assistant of Rafael Benitez at FC Liverpool was sacked after the first eight matches in which only five points had been achieved and replaced by Quique Setien. UD Las Palmas plays its home matches at the Estadio de Gran Canaria which was newly constructed in 2003 and has a capacity of just about 32,000 spectators. In the first season following promotion the footballers from the holiday island ended up on 12th position. Last season the tournament participants were 14th in the league. In the new season 2016/17 Las Palmas began with a new manager. The new man on the sidelines is Manolo Marquez.
UD Las Palmas