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Deportivo La Coruña

Deportivo La Coruña is a football (soccer) club from Spain.

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About Deportivo La Coruña

Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña is a Spain professional association football club based in the city of A Coruña, Galicia; founded in 1906 and currently playing in Segunda División. Since the Spanish football league system was established in 1928, it has spent all but two seasons in the top two tiers, but it was relegated from La Liga to Segunda Division in 2011.

Depor has won the La Liga title once in the 1999-2000 La Liga and finished as runner-up on five occasions. The club has also won the Copa del Rey twice, the(1994-95 Copa del Rey and the 2001-02 Copa del Rey) and has also won three Supercopa de España. The Blues and Whites have been a regular in top positions in La Liga in the last 20 years, finishing in the top half of the table in 16 out of 19 seasons. As a result, the club has been a regular participant in European competitions, playing in the UEFA Champions League five seasons in a row, and reaching the semi-finals in 2003–04 UEFA Champions League.

Deportivo have played their home games at the 34,600 capacity Estadio Riazor since 1944 when the stadium was built. Their traditional home kit consists of blue and white shirts (striped) with blue shorts and socks. The club has a long-standing rivalry with national opponents Celta de Vigo, and matches between the two sides are known as the Galician derby.

History


Foundation and first steps

In 1902 Jose María Abalo, a youngster who had returned to his hometown after studying in England, introduced football to A Coruña. The game gained rapid popularity and several teams were formed on an informal basis.

In December 1906, members of Sala Calvet gymnasium formed Deportivo de la Coruña, naming Luis Cornide as the first president. In May 1907 Alfonso XIII of Spain granted the club the 'Real' (royal) denomination. Depor started playing at Corral de la Gaiteira (piper's yard), but soon moved to Old Riazor, a new ground near the Riazor beach.

The team played friendly matches regularly and competed in local leagues, but failed to achieve success in the Copa del Rey in its early years.

In 1920, the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, saw the debut of the Spanish national football team. A good run for the Spanish side increased football's popularity, and as a result many teams gained professional status, and a league competition was formed and planned for the 1929 La Liga season.

1928-1948 Segunda Division and first spell in the top flight

In 1928, Depor failed to qualify for the first ever La Liga and took part in the Segunda División where it finished 8th out of 10. The team keep battling next years in a division that was going to suffer many structural and geographical changes. In 1932, Depor defeated Real Madrid in the Cup, which had gone unbeaten through the entire season in the league.

In 1936, the Spanish civil war broke out, so official competitions were abandoned until the 1939-40 La Liga. That year, The Herculeans qualified for the promotion stage. The final game was against archrivals Celta de Vigo who were fighting to avoid relegation. Celta won 1-0 and remained in the top flight as Depor's expectations of promotion were denied. The following season the club reached the promotion play-offs again, beating Real Murcia 2-1 to achieve promotion to La Liga for the first time in their history.

The 1941-42 La Liga in the top flight saw the club finish fourth. However the club declined in the next few seasons, finishing 9th, 12th and 14th in 1944-45 La Liga resulting in relegation. Instant promotion was achieved the following year but Depor were relegated again at the end of the 1946-47 La Liga. Once again, the team gained instant promotion, in 1947-48 La Liga.

This decade saw Depor's entrance to the top flight, so the club decided to build a new ground, Estadio Riazor which is still their home. It was opened on 28 October 1944 with a league game against Valencia. In this era, the key player of the team was Juan Acuña, the club's keeper. Xanetas as he was known by locals picked up four Ricardo Zamora Trophy between 1942 and 1951, making him the second most decorated keeper in the Spanish league.

1948-1957 The 'Golden Decade'

The club ended the 1948-49 La Liga in 10th place. The next season would see their first major achievement in the league, Depor finished as runners-up just one point behind Atlético de Madrid under the management of Argentina Alejandro Scopelli, who brought to the club a group of South American players such as Julio Corcuera, Oswaldo García, Rafael Franco and Dagoberto Moll who made the team more competitive and able to remain top flight status for 9 seasons in a row until 1956-57 La Liga. It was a great period for the club, as honoured managers like Helenio Herrera and players as Pahiño and local Luis Suárez Miramontes (the only Spanish player to get the Golden Ball) played at the Riazor.

1957-1973 Yo-yo era

After 9 seasons in the highest tier, the team was relegated to the Segunda Division in 1957 and stayed there for five seasons until 1962 when they were promoted into the top flight. This started a yo-yo era that led the club to be known as the elevator team. Promotions were achieved in 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968 and 1971. Subsequent relegations occurred during 1963, 1965, 1967, 1970 and 1973. The club failed to establish themselves at any tier, so happiness and sadness were mixed every season.

Depor had one of the best youth systems at the time in Spain as youngsters like Amancio Amaro, Severino Reija, José Luis Veloso or Jaime Blanco started their careers at the Riazor, being part of the future Spanish national football team and some of them such as Luis Suárez going on to play for larger clubs. However, the difficult financial situation of the club led to the forced sales of these players, and the team couldn't consolidate themselves in the top flight. However, this yo-yo era ended with relegation from the Primera Division in 1972-73 La Liga.

1973-1988 Dark times

After being relegated in 1973, the team struggled in the Second Division but couldn't avoid another relegation and were condemned to the third tier (Tercera Division) for the first time in their history. However, Depor gained instant promotion and established themselves in the second tier for the rest of the decade. In 1979-80 Segunda División Depor were again relegated to the newly created Segunda División B, the third tier, again for the second time in their history. Again this was short-lived as the team gained promotion the next season. Notably, Depor were relegated and promoted along with arch-rivals Celta who played during the 1980-81 season the most attended games ever in Spain's third tier.

The club continued to play in the Second Division, having little chances of being promoted into the top flight. In the 1987–88 Segunda División season, Depor struggled and only avoided relegation after Vicente Celeiro scored a goal during added time against Racing de Santander in the last game of the season. This is often regarded as the end of club's dark times and the beginning of a new era.

During this period, the club was heavily affected by financial difficulties and internal troubles with managers being sacked almost every year. In the summer of 1988, an open and popular club assembly chose a new board of directors headed by Augusto César Lendoiro. Depor had a debt estimated at 600 million Spanish peseta, had been out of the top flight for 15 years and lacked established structures at economic and sporting level.

1988-present. Resurgence

Arsenio Iglesias, former player and manager was again at the club by the time and in the 1988-89 season Depor had a good run in the Copa del Rey reaching the semifinals but losing there to Real Valladolid. The year after, the team competed very well in the league and qualified for the promotion play-off but expectations were denied again, this time by CD Tenerife. The 1990–91 Segunda Division season saw Depor finishing as runners-up, finally achieving promotion to La Liga after 18 years outside it. Additionally, the club's finances began to improve and social support increased, especially to youth groups.

1991-92 La Liga, their first season back in the top flight saw Depor struggle, and they were forced to take part in the relegation play-off, beating Real Betis in a two-legged round. With Arsenio Iglesias taking his 4th spell as manager and experienced players added to the side as Luis López Rekarte, Paco Liaño, Claudio Barragán, José Luis Ribera, Adolfo Aldana, Donato Gama da Silva (most of them veterans being former players of great teams like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona or Atlético de Madrid), along with promising younsters such as local boy Fran González and Brazilians Bebeto and Mauro Silva upgraded the teams level.

1992-93 La Liga Deportivo experienced a great time, being in top positions all season and finishing third after the two Spanish giants, qualifying for UEFA Cup for the first time in their history. That year the club provided Pichichi Trophy winner (Bebeto) and Ricardo Zamora Trophy winner (Paco Liaño). Also, Depor made a historic comeback against Real Madrid at Riazor, losing 0-2 by half-time but winning the game 3-2 and starting a run of 18 seasons to 'los blancos' whithout a win at A Coruña.

1994-95 La Liga started with manager Arsenio Iglesias stating he would leave the club after the end of the season, though Depor made another great campaign finishing again as runners-up, this time to Real Madrid. 1994-95 UEFA Cup led Herculeans to be beaten again by a German side, Borussia Dortmund. But this season still hid a great surprise for the club. Depor made a fantastic run in 1994-95 Copa del Rey and got into the final for the first time in their history. Ironically, after past season's controversy, Valencia CF were the opponents. On 24 June 1995, at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium the final was levelled 1-1 when on 83rd minute referee Garcia-Aranda suspended the game due to water collapsing the pitch after a strong storm. It was decided that the game would resume three days later. Seven minutes of magic for Depor, because a header from Alfredo Santaelena gave the club their first ever major title.

2000. The Silverware: Deportivo wins the Spanish League

Directed by Javier Irureta, and with players like Djalminha, Francisco Javier González, Roy Makaay and Mauro Silva, the team finally conquered their first La Liga Title, 5 points ahead of Barcelona and Valencia.
With this title, A Coruña became the smallest Spanish city (population roughly 200.000 habs), to have ever won the La Liga championship.

During the 12 seasons period lasting from 1992-93 to 2003-2004, apart from winning the title in 1999-2000, Deportivo ended the season four times in second place, and another four times in third place, contesting the European Champions League five years in a row, and reaching the semi-finals once, in 2004. Their period in the top flight came to an end as they were relegated, finishing 18th in 2011.

Kit and Badge

The official badge depicts a knights belt encircling the original banner of Sala Calvet Gymnasium. The crown in the centre represents the clubs Royal decree and the diagonal blue stripe its identity as a Galician club (Galician flag).

Deportivo La Coruña have always played in their famous blue and white stripes, but it was not until 1912 that the club made these colours official for matches. Deportivo continues to wear blue and white striped shirts with blue shorts and socks, yet their second and third kits change annually according to commercial interests. Their current shirt sponsors are Estrella Galicia, with Lotto Sport Italia manufacturing the kits.

Honours

Men's section

National Titles

- La Liga

- Copa del Rey

- Supercopa de España

- Segunda División

- Tercera División

International titles

- UEFA Intertoto Cup:

Regional Titles

- Campeonato de Galicia

- Copa Galiza

Women's section (disbanded)

- Copa de la Reina de Fútbol (5): 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985

Indoor football section

- Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Fútbol Indoor (2): 2007–08, 2009–10
- Copa de España de Fútbol Indoor (2): 2007–08, 2009–10

The numbers are established according to the official website:

As of 1 September 2011






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