Squad news

THE CURSE OF THE PICHICHI

16 Jun 2013
Ten of the last eleven Pichichis at Deportivo have left the club just weeks after ending as the top-scorers in the league competition. The last man that continued with the curse was Riki, the top-scorer of Depor at Liga BBVA.

It’s now a norm, because each time a player of Deportivo La Coruña ends the season as the top-scorer at the team in the league competition then that player ends up leaving the club. It’s something that has occurred in ten of the last eleven seasons and that’s now named as the curse of the Pichichi.

It all starter on the season 2002/03, Roy Makaay not only was the top-scorer at Depor, but also was the Pichichi at Primera División and even the European Golden Boot (29 goals), during the summer of 2003 he was transferred to FC Bayern München for €19 million, the third biggest transfer made by the Galician club in their history.


Roy Makaay, the first Pichichi that left Deportivo

For the campaign 2003/04 the Pichichi in liga was Walter Pandiani (13); the Uruguayan had several incidents with former coach Irureta and was sent to the Premier League in the middle of the season 2004/05. He was loaned to Birmingham City and later sold for €4.3 million.

The Pichichi on the season 2004/05 was Albert Luque (11), at the time the Catalan was harassed by FC Barcelona, but there was no negotiation with that club and in the end the player was transferred to Newcastle United at the Premier League; the operation was for €14 million and turned to be the fourth largest in the history of the club.

Diego Tristán was the next name in the list, he netted 11 goals on the season 2005/06 and left the club for free as, despite ending as the top-scorer at the team, the club wasn’t happy with his performance and the player negotiated his exit.

The season 2006/07 was the poorest one on the past decade in terms of goals scored, the Pichichi at the team was Javier Arizmendi, who only scored five goals at Primera División, but it was enough to call the attention of Valencia CF, Los Ches ended paying €3.75 million for his services.

The curse continued on the season 2007/08 as Xisco scored 9 goals at Primera ending as the main scorer at the team, once again Newcastle United showed up and put €8 million over the table in order to get the Majorcan striker.

Bigger was the mess on the campaign 2008/09 as Deportivo lost its two top-scorers: Ángel Lafita (8) and Joan Verdú (7). The first was sold to Real Zaragoza in a chaotic operation that represented €3.5 million –part of the money still owed by Zaragoza- The second player left for free and signed for RCD Espanyol.

For the season 2010/11, the one of the previous relegation, the top-scorer was Adrián López (7) and he left the club in a new conflictive situation as the club was trying to renew him through a clause in his contract, but the player left for free and joined Atlético Madrid, angering president Lendoiro. Until now the club hasn’t been able to get anything from the Madrilenian club.

Depor played at Segunda on the campaign 2011/12, but the curse continued anyway, Lassad Nouioui was the top-scorer netting 14 goals, he didn’t want to renew his contract despite the team clinched the promotion to Primera and decided to sign for Celtic FC.


Riki, the last Pichichi that leaves Deportivo

The last player that added his name into the list was Riki, curiously he was the only one that escaped the curse in the past decade. The Madrilenian scored 8 goals on the season 2009/10, but stayed at the club, and on the Primera season 2012/13 he ended as the Pichichi once again (13), though this time he’s leaving Deportivo and still searching for a new club.

Ten top-scorers have left Deportivo in the past eleven years, another of the reasons why the club has faced so many problems to score goals in the post-era of the Champions League. The positive news is that, despite some of these Pichichis didn’t left a dime at the club, in the end their performance was profitable as combined the Pichichis at Deportivo meant €49.05 million for the club.

ARCHIVE NEWS JUN/13

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