History (4)

1993-1995: EUROPE AND BEYOND


1993/1994: DJUKIC'S NOTORIOUS PENALTY MISS
The season 1993/1994 will for always be underlined in the history of the club. Not only for the first ever presence in a European tournament, but also for the dramatic loss of the Liga during the final seconds of the season.

The squad was reinforced with well recognized footballers like Donato, Manjarín, Paco, Elduayen, Voro, Pedro Riesco and Alfredo and everybody was just hoping that the previous campaign would be continued. This happened because early December the team conquered the first place in the Liga, had beaten Real Madrid 4-0, and were playing the third round of the UEFA Cup against Eintracht Frankfurt. The Germans proved to be too strong though after Deportivo had beaten Danish club Aalborg and taken their first scalp of an important club by eliminating Aston Villa.

With Arsenio Iglesias still at the helm, the team now had the chance to focus on the Liga. And from 4 December on the team stayed on top of the Primera División. The goals of Bebeto and Claudio that season brought Deportivo to the final matchday as a serious title contender. A win at home against Valencia would have been enough, no matter what rivals Barcelona would do.

At half-time the score in Riazor was still 0-0 but Sevilla were leading 1-2 in Barcelona. The season would finish dramatically though as with twenty minutes to go, Barcelona striker Romario shot his club in front and now Deportivo were obliged to win themselves. In injury-time the team were rewarded a penalty-kick after defender Nando had been fouled. As Bebeto had missed one in the previous weeks and Donato had been taken off, defender Djukic stepped forward but missed the opportunity. Barcelona snatched the title away from Deportivo based on a superior goal average as both clubs were drawn on points.

Liaño won his second Trofeo Zamora that campaign as he only leaked 18 goals during the season. There were no serious rivals for him because the defences of Barcelona, Sevilla and Racing were closest with 42 goals. In fact, the seriousness of Deportivo at the back had been an important factor in their conquest with players like Nando, Djukic, Ribera, Voro and López-Rekarte. In 27 of the 38 Liga matches that campaign a clean sheet was held including the final six.

The players most frequently used that campaign were: Liaño - Nando, Voro, Djukic, Ribera, López-Rekarte - Fran, Mauro Silva, Donato - Bebeto, Claudio

1994/1995: FIRST EVER TROPHY
The campaign after it, 1994/1995, would in fact become known for its consistency. In December 1994 the team occupied the second place in the Liga and only lost their first match on day eleven. In the UEFA Cup the team had kicked out Rosenborg (Norway) and Tirol Innsbruk (Austria) and now had to challenge Borussia Dortmund. A 1-0 home win, thanks to a Bebeto goal, was not enough though as a dramatic extra-time in Germany indicated the end of Deportivo in the tournament.

For the second time in a row the team could focus on the domestic competitions, including the Copa del Rey. But in March 1995 the team dropped down to fourth position in the Liga after a 0-1 home loss against Atl?©tico de Madrid. Still, the team bounced back and stayed unbeaten in the next nine matches and approached leaders Real Madrid when the match between both teams arrived in the Bernabéu. Deportivo did well and a goal of Bebeto caused a 1-1 score near the end, but a final strike of Zamorano was enough to give the home team the title.

Deportivo achieved an honourable end to the season by scoring 13 goals in the final two matches (including a 2-8 win at Albacete) and finishing second. For the third time in their history the club qualified for European football and the Galicians had finished among the best three for a third consecutive time.

But it was time for a prize. The team had been close to winning two Ligas, and did well in Europe, but finally were crowned on 27 June, 1995. It was the final of the Copa del Rey, which had to be postponed three days earlier because of heavy rain. On that day Manjarí­n had given Deportivo a 0-1 lead while Mijatovic had equalized the match. Seconds after the restart it was Alfredo who scored the 2-1 for Deportivo and the team hung on to this lead to win their first ever trophy.

The players most frequently used that campaign were: Liaño - Nando, Ribera, Djukic, Voro, López-Rekarte - Fran, Donato, Aldana - Manjarín, Bebeto

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