Flights to Galicia will once again be added to the travel plans for the 2012/13 season. The two giant clubs from the north-western region of Spain, Real Club Deportivo de la Coruña (Depo) and Real Club Celta de Vigo (Celta) secured promotion from Segunda this weekend.
Deportivo has been a fixture in La Liga since the early 1990s and had their golden years between 1999 and 2004, when under the guidance of Javier Irureta and play of stars like Mackay, Valéron, Diego Tristan, and Manuel Pablo, won the league in 2000 and finished no lower than third in those 5 seasons. Crushed by poor financial decisions, the club made a steady decline until finally a lack of goals saw them relegated last season. Their time in the lower leagues however was short-lived, with new boss José Luis Oltra leading them to first place in Segunda with 91 points, six ahead of their regional rivals Celta. Deportivo lost almost none of their players when relegated, so expect familiar faces like Guardado, Valéron, and Aranzubia when FC Barcelona next faces them.
The opposite situation exists at Celta. Celta went down during the 2006/7 season and really had a tough time thereafter. They were nearly further relegated the next two seasons but steadily under the guidance of Barcelona-born Paco Herrera signs of life began to re-emerge. Herrera took charge of the club in 2010/11 season, finishing 6th, and in his next season, 2nd. Having been in the second division for 5 seasons, the Celta team that returns to La Liga will be nothing like when it left. When we next play the men from Vigo, look out for Borja Oubiña and Iago Aspas. Oubiña, a local lad, is now 30 years old, but he was a player of genuine quality during his time in La Liga. Aspas, at 24, has been crucial to the return of this young team in the premier division, with a scoring ratio of about 1 goal every 3 games. Celta in fact scored more goals than Deportivo (83 versus 76) and conceded less (37 versus 45), despite finishing second. While the draws did them no good, Celta may be better equipped to make their return to La Liga.
One of the four – Valladlid, Alcorcon, Hercules, or Cordoba – will be joining the Galicians, after they compete in the promotional playoff.
Source: www.fifa.com, www.fcbarcelona.com