Levante UD was formerly registered as Levante Football Club on 9 Sep 1909 (but the club celebrated its 100th anniversary on 9 Sep 2009), taking its name from the Levante beach in La Malvarrosa, and was one of the pioneering football clubs in Valencia. Local rivals Valencia CF was not formed until 1919, however another club, Cabanyal FC, had been playing in the city since 1907.
Levante’s earliest games were played at La Platjeta, near the docks on a plot of land owned by a perfume entrepreneur. Its next ground was also near the port area, and the club gradually began to become associated with the working class. In 1919, the side played Valencia CF for the first time, losing 0–1; the game marked the inauguration of the recently formed new ground at Algirós. In 1928, Levante FC won its first trophy, the Valencian Championship.
1909 also saw the birth of Gimnástico Football Club, which originally played at Patronato de la Juventud Obrera, being then named Gimnástico-Patronato. In 1919, Gimnástico became the champion of the Campeonato de Valencia, beating CD Castellón in two leg finals; the next year, the club had become Real Gimnástico Football Club, after being granted royal patronage by Alfonso XIII, and they reached the final of Campeonato Regional de Levante, but lost to Club Deportivo Aguileño. In 1931, with the emergence of the Second Spanish Republic, the club dropped the Real from its name.