Squad news


18 Feb 2015
93 years of derbies. This is a recap on the history of the so called Galician derby, the biggest football rivalry in Galicia. This will be the derby number 111 playing for league competitions.

As any classical rivalry at Spanish football, the Galician derby –now known as onosoderby- has a long and rich history; it’s considered to be among the top ten regional rivalries in the country, which includes the derbies between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid (Madrid), Barcelona and RCD Espanyol (Catalonia), Sevilla and Real Betis (Andalusia), Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad (Basque country), UD Las Palmas and Tenerife (Canary Islands), Sporting Gijón and Real Oviedo (Asturias), Murcia and Cartagena (Murcia), Hércules and Elche (Alicante), and even the newest Valencia and Villarreal CF (Valencia).

Before Saturday’s meeting, both sides have met each other in 110 opportunities playing in a league competition (including three games in playoffs); Depor won 41 games, Celta 43 matches, while the remaining 26 meetings were draws. At the Riazor the series is in favour of Deportivo with 33 triumphs, 10 draws and 11 defeats. But those are only the official matches played for a league competition (Primera, Segunda or Segunda B).

In Copa Del Rey, both sides have faced each other in ten opportunities; Celta has had the better results in this competition as they achieved the pass in three opportunities, while Depor only did it twice. In this competition Celta achieved its biggest win over Deportivo: 8-0 at Balaídos (27-Apr-1991), while the biggest victory for Depor came in liga with a 7-2 at the Riazor (matchday 08, season 1932/33).

There were other meetings between Deportivo and Celta, from friendly matches, a participation in the Teresa Herrera tournament and one Copa Galicia. The long and rich history of the Galician derby can be divided in four parts:

Deportivo La Coruña was founded in 1907, but RC Celta just appeared in 1923 after Real Fortuna FC and Real Vigo Sporting Club were merged. Immediately the confrontations between both clubs started; at the time there was no Spanish la liga, instead the clubs were playing regional tournaments; in Galicia it was played the Galician championship.

This tournament was dominated by Deportivo and RC Celta; in seventeen years Deportivo won six Galician titles and ended as the runners-up in other six opportunities, while Celta also won six titles plus ending second in other seven tournaments. The rivalry –and the frictions- started at this point; each game played at Balaídos and at the old Riazor was lived with intensity. The Galician championship lost interest and was cancelled in 1940 after Franco claimed the power.

The second phase of the Galician derby started with the nascent Primera División, and it was a polemic start; RC Celta were aspiring to be one of the clubs premiering the league (season 1929/30) after clinching the Galician championship on the year before, but a voting process, plus the war of interests, left them at Segunda División. The point was that one of the clubs that voted against Celta was Deportivo. 80 years have passed of the event, but this fact still remembered in Vigo.

The true was that this confrontation wasn’t considered as a derby at this point, both clubs were just trying to find a path and the first collisions between Depor and Celta took place at the Segunda División. Then, Celta gave a step forward as it was the first Galician club that played at Primera (season 1939/40), Depor was close to do the same one year later, but failed in the promotion playoff, precisely against Celta in a match played at Chamartín (Madrid) and that ended 1-0 with a goal scored by Nolete.

Anyway, Deportivo followed the footsteps of its nemesis and two years later it clinched the promotion to Primera, and it was a big surprise as in its first year at Primera División the club from A Coruña achieved  a meritorious fourth place.

It was then that Deportivo and Celta were started to be considered as the top clubs of Galicia, and their meeting, inevitable, begun to be referred as the derby of Galicia. It was a golden period for both sides; between 1941 and 1957 Deportivo spent fourteen seasons at the elite, while Celta did it in fifteen opportunities. The club from Vigo matched the previous performance of Depor as it clinched the fourth place on the season 1947/48, but Depor went beyond that as on the season 1949/50 it ended as the runners-up at Primera, a position only improved after Depor conquered la liga almost sixty years later.

These golden years of Depor were possible thanks, among other things, to the existence of the so-called Orquesta Canaro, it was the nickname that an Argentine journalist gave to Depor because its precise football made him remember a famous orchestra in his homeland. The offense of this team was composed by five men: Corcuera, Oswaldo, Franco, Moll and Tino. Precisely this combination of players scored the ten goals in the three derbies played at the Riazor within the years 1950-1953.

Later it was time for Manuel Fernández ‘ Pahiño’, who joined Depor on the season 1953/54 and one season later scored the four goals in the victory over Celta at the Riazor (4-2); that’s the highest number of goals scored by one single player in a Galician derby played at Primera División. On the season if his debut at Depor, Pahiño scored another goal in a derby, which means that he scored five times against Celta, which is a record at the club tied with Tino and Diego Tristán.

The true is that Pahiño played at Celta before joining Depor, and there he scored twice against Los Blanquiazules, meaning that he’s the top-scorer at the Galician derbies with seven goals added to his tally. Another interesting thing that happened on these years was the 6-1 win of Celta at Balaídos for the season 1951/52 (06/Apt/1952), because on that day Atienza scored a hat-trick, which was the first one scored at Primera División, the other came fifty years later with Victor.

Good things always have an end, and it was like that for both Depor and Celta; in this period both clubs suffered a debacle, they reduced their presence at Primera within the next three decades and Depor was considered as an “elevator” club as it spent the time going up to Primera to just end relegated to Segunda in the next year. Both clubs even shared the strange sorrow of playing at Segunda B at the same time (season 1980/81); and just lasted there one year as Celta was the champion while Depor ended as the runners up.

The true is that the results of Celta were more stable in this period; Los Celestes spent six years at Primera at the beginning of the 1970’s and they even clinched the qualification to the UEFA Cup, which mean that Celta was the first Galician club that played in a European competition. For all these reasons Celta begun to be considered as the best club of Galicia. The true is that between 1959 and 1980 there were only 26 Galician derbies in liga, mainly as both team were hardly coinciding in the same league.

Celta even eliminated Deportivo from Copa Del Rey in one opportunity during this period; it was on the season 1980-81 with a 5-2 win at Balaidos that cancelled the 4-3 victory of the first-leg achieved at the Riazor.

The promotion of Depor to Primera in 1991 and the arrival of Celta one year later to the elite of Spanish football opened a new golden period at both clubs; in La Coruña people lived the dream of the Superdepor clinching one liga championship, two Copa Del Rey titles, three Spanish Supercopas and the years in the UEFA Champions League.

Celta also had a positive moment practicing good football, but they never matched the titles of Los Blanquiazules and the fans in Vigo could only watch their team losing two finals in Copa Del Rey (1994 & 2001). This big difference was the reason why Celta was no longer considered as the most important club in Galicia, honour that now passed to Deportivo.

This new era brought a new brilliancy to the Galician derby, for the first time the confrontations between these neighbors weren’t only a matter of deciding who was the best team of the region, but it was also important to decide the top positions at Primera División, so for the first time the Galician derby was calling the attention of the whole Spain and also of the rest of the world.

The icing of the Galician derbies came on December 18, 1999; Celta was visiting the Riazor being second at the standings while Depor was the leader; therefore for the first time both clubs were facing each other being at the top of Spanish football; and the whole world watched as Depor claimed a suffered victory with a goal of Turu Flores to claim the throne in Galicia. Since then Deportivo has been considered as the most successful club in the region, while Celta was watching from the distance.

Celta ended at Segunda in 2007, Depor followed the path four years later; now both clubs are written their history beginning a fifth era of the Galician derbies: this time the goal is not only to fight for the supremacy in Galicia, but to see who remains at Primera.

Head-to-head in league competitions: Depor 41 wins, 26 draws, Celta 43 wins (Primera, Segunda or Segunda B).
Record at the Riazor: Depor 33 wins, 10 draws, Celta 11 wins (Primera, Segunda or Segunda B).
Record in Copa Del Rey: Depor 3 wins, 3 draws, Celta 4 wins
Galician tournament: Depor 14 wins, 6 draws, Celta 16 wins
Derby in the playoff: Celta 1 – Depor 0 (May 15, 1940) Celta stayed at Primera.
Biggest win for Celta: 8-0 at Balaídos (Copa Del Rey, 27-Apr-1991),
Biggest win for Depor: 7-2 at the Riazor (matchday 08, Segunda, season 1932/33).
Depor’s players with more derby matches: Fran (21), Mauro Silva (17), Donato (16), Acuña (15), Naybet (13)
Celta’s players with more derby matches: Caceres (18), Villar (12), Mostovoi (11), Patxi Salinas (11)
Top-scorers at Depor in the derbies: Pahiño (5), Tino (5), Tristan (5) (Primera)
Top-scorers at Celta in the derbies: Juan Sanchez (6), Mauro (5), Hermida (5) (Primera)



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