The city of Galicia in Spain proudly boasts its passion for soccer via their much loved club, Real Club Deportivo De La Coruna. The name of the Galician club literally means Royal Sporting Club of La Coruna.
Also nicknamed as the Brancoazuis, the Galician club has been a regular in top positions in La Liga finishing in the top half in 16 seasons out of their last 19. The club colors are represented by a traditional home kit consisting of blue and white striped shirts with blue shorts and socks.
The club has a long standing rivalry with another Galacian club Celta De Vigo with whom the share a hostile Galacian Derby rivalry.
Deportivo plays its home games at the Riazor which has the capacity of seating 34,600 spectators. Riazor has been the home of this club since 1944.
In 1902, Jose Mario Abalo, introduced soccer to ‘A Coruna’ on his return from England after completing his studies. The game gained rapid popularity which thus resulted in the formation of several informal teams.
However, in December 1906 members of the Sala Cavet Gymnasium formed Deportivo de La Coruna whose first president was elected as Luis Cornide. The club was granted the ‘Real’ Denomination literally meaning ‘Royal’ by Alfonso XIII of Spain in May 1907. Depor started playing at the Corral de la Gaiteira before moving on to Riazor.
Then, the team only played friendly matches and participated in the local leagues. The club found no success in the Copa Del Rey in the earlier seasons.
In 1928, Deportivo failed to qualify for the inaugural season of La Liga and thus participated in the Segunda division where it ended up finishing 8th out of 10th. One of the highlights during that era was their victory over an unbeaten Real Madrid in the Cup.
In 1936 due to the Spanish Civil War, the League was abandoned till 1939-1940 season. That year, Deportivo qualified for the promotion play-offs where they met Celta De Vigo which was fighting to avoid relegation. They lost the game 1-0 and much to their frustration they remained in the Segunda division. The following year they again reached the promotion play-off this time to face Murcia who were beaten 2-1 by Deportivo and Deportivo blissfully earned its first appearance in the top flight.
Their first season in top flight was glorious as they finished fourth despite the fact that the club declined in the following seasons and finally got relegated again in 1945. They clinched an instant promotion next season but got relegated again at the end of 1946-1947 season. The following season however they were instantly promoted.
Due to their participation in the top flight the club felt the blazing need of a new home venue and hence Raizor was opened on the 28th of October, 1944 featuring a league game against Valencia as the inaugural game. The key player of the decade for Deportivo was their keeper Juan Acuna famously nicknamed as ‘Xanetas’ and who has won four Zamora trophies between 1942 and 1951 and is thus the second most decorated goalkeeper in Spanish history.
THE GOLDEN DECADE:
The club ended the 1948-1949 season finishing in the 10th place. The following year however was their biggest achievement in La Liga ever as they finished runners-up just one point behind Atletico Madrid under the management of Argentinian Alejandro Scopelli. The manager brought a group of South American talents to the Riazor including the likes of Oswaldo García, Julio Corcuera, Dagoberto Moll and Rafael Franco making the team more competitive and capable of remaining in the top flight status for 9 seasons in a row until 1957. Honored managers like Helenio Herrera and players like Pahino and local Luis Suarez graced the Riazor during this glorious decade of 1948-1957.
THE YO-YO ERA:
After being in the top flight for 9 seasons, the club was relegated to Segunda division in 1957. This began an ironic ‘yo-yo’ era in the clubs history where they alternated between the primera and segunda division every year leading to a mixed feeling of sadness and joy among the club’s fans at the end of each season. They were promoted in 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968 and 1971. They were relegated in the seasons 1963, 1965, 1967, 1970 and 1973. The club failed to establish itself in any of the two leagues.
At that time however, Depor had one of the best youth academies in Spain which gave talents like Amancio Amaro, José Luis Veloso, Severino Reija or Jaime Blanco who started their careers at the Riazor, and later became part of the future Spanish national team and some of them such as Luis Suárez going on to play for larger clubs and who also became the only Golden Ball winner for Spain. The financial situation of the club forced it to sell these talents, which is considered as one of the main reasons why this club couldn’t establish itself in top flight. The yo-yo era ended with relegation from top flight in the year 1973.
THE DARK TIMES:
After being relegated in 1973, the team struggled in the segunda division and ended up getting relegated further into the Tercera division of Spain for the first time in its history. The team gained promotion immediately the following season. In 1980 they were again relegated to the third tier.
Again after immediate promotion to the second tier they never looked to have any serious hopes for getting promoted to the first tier.
To top it all, this dark period was marked by financial crisis as the club had a debt which was estimated at 600 million pesetas. The managers were sacked every year. The club had been out of the first division for 15 years and lacked foundations at both the economic and sporting realms.
Arsenio Iglesias, former player and manager was again at the club by the time and after his arrival there was a resurgence of hope among the Deportivo faithful. The 1990-1991 season saw Deportivo finishing as runners-up to the Segunda division finally achieving promotion to the Spanish top flight after 18 years. The club’s finances also began to improve as well as the fan support.
In 1991-1992, Deportivo’s first season in La Liga after a long time, they struggled and were consequently forced to play a relegation play-off against Real Betis which they won.
In 1992-1993, Deportivo had a great time in the Liga being in top positions throughout the season and finishing third. They qualified for Europe for the first time in their history. Also a number of the clubs players won individual accolades.
In 1993-1994, Deportivo had a great season as they were on the top of the table throughout the season and faced Valencia in the last match. The game ended a draw and Deportivo just lost their first Liga title. It was quite frustrating for the fans but there was a consolation as Paco Liaño picked his second Zamora Trophy after conceding just 18 goals in 38 games. Deportivo made its debut in Europe beating Aalborg BK and Aston Villa but being knocked out by Frankfurt in round of 16.
In 1994-1995, the club started the season with the knowledge that Arsenio Iglesias would retire at the end of the season. They had a glorious campaign throughout the Liga as they finished runners-up to Real Madrid. UEFA cup led Deportivo to be beaten by Borussia Dortmund. Deportivo however made a fantastic run into the Copa Del Rey final where they met Valencia on 24th June, 1995 at the Santiago Bernabeu. The game was stopped at the 83rd minute at the score of 1-1 by the referee Garcia-Aranda due to the collapse of pitch by rain owing to the heavy storm. The game was resumed three days later just to play the remaining seven minutes and Alfredo Santaelena headed a goal in this seven minutes to win for Deportivo its first ever major title.
Under the new director, Javier Irureta, the team finally conquered its first ever Liga title in 2000 finishing five points ahead of Barcelona. Deportivo became the second smallest Spanish city behind San Sebastian (Real Sociedad) to have ever won the La Liga.
During the 12 seasons from 1992-1993 to 2003-2004, apart from winning the title at the start of the century, Deportivo finished four seasons consecutively at the second spot, followed consecutively by another four seasons at the third spot and playing in Europe for five years in a row which included a semi-final appearance in 2004. They were relegated however in 2011 when they finished 18th.
However, in 2011-2012 they made an immediate return to the top flight, after spending half the season at top of the league. Lassad Nouioui was the top scorer that season with 14 goals, Andres Guardado became the top assistant and Alex Bergantiños became the only player to participate in all league matches.
THE B TEAM:
Deportivo de La Coruña B is the secondary team of Deportivo de La Coruña. Founded in 1914 with the name of Fabril Sociedad Deportiva, and it currently plays in the Tercera Division of Spain. It plays its home games in the stadium is Estadio Ciudad Deportiva de Abegondo, which has a seating capacity of a meager 1,500 seats.
In 1993, the team was officially renamed as Deportivo B, but the locals still prefer to call it “Fabril”.
Unlike many other Spanish clubs, Deportivo has shown its keen interest in indoor soccer as well by winning the Indoor Spanish League and Cup twice both in the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 seasons.
Winners (1 time): 1999–2000
Runners-up (5 times): 1949–50, 1993–94, 1994–95, 2000–01, 2001–02
Copa del Rey:
Winners (2 times): 1994–95, 2001–02
Finalist (1 time): 1910
Supercopa de España:
Winners (3 times): 1995, 2000, 2002
Winners (5 times): 1961–62, 1963–64, 1965–66, 1967–68, 2011–12
Winners (1 time): 1974–75
UEFA Intertoto Cup:
Winners (1 time): 2008 – Joint Winner
Runners-up (1 time): 2005
Winners (6 times): 1926–27, 1927–28, 1930–31, 1932–33, 1936–37, 1939–40
Runners-up (7 times): 1919–20, 1924–25, 1925–26, 1929–30, 1931–32, 1933–34, 1938–39
Winners (1 time): 1945–46
Runners-up (4 times): 1935–36, 1946–47, 1964–65, 2007–08
Teresa Herrera Trophy:
Winners (17 times): 1955, 1962, 1964, 1969, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000-2008, 2012
Deportivo has been a club that has played in all the three divisions across its vast history. It is famously known for its alternating seasons across the two top divisions in Spain. It has rightfully won titles for itself and has given the soccer world a legend in Luis Suarez (not the one which currently plays in Barca).
This club may not guarantee titles but the aura and philosophy of this club definitely suggest that it has the potential to bounce back on top from any difficult situation.
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