History

"MADRID, BARCELONA, HERE WE ARE!"

These were the words spoken by Deportivo president Lendoiro in 1991 when the team achieved promotion to the Primera División. Until then the team had never won the Liga, or a Copa and never before had played a European match. In fact, the team had been moving between the highest Spanish leagues and in the 1980s was close to a financial disaster. From 1973 until 1991 it didn't play in the Primera División, to the deep frustration of all its supporters. How, in 2008, Deportivo is considered a big club in Europe (despite the bad results of the past seasons) is the result of the following story:


1902: FOOTBALL ARRIVES IN LA CORUÑA
The 20th century had just started when José Maria Abalo returned to his hometown of La Coruña from studies in England. That wouldn't have been so unique if he hadn't brought the sport of modern football with him. He introduced this phenomenon to some of his friends, and these men began to practice the sport in the town's bull ring.

In March 1904, the first recorded "serious" football match took place at the Corral de la Gaiteira, where Abalo and his companions formed a team entitled "Corunna" and played against a team consisting of English crew men from the ship "Diligent".

From there the game reached a new level in La Coruña as members of the prestigious gymnasium Sala Calvet began to take notice of this "exotic activity". As time passed by, the game grew to such heights that youngsters belonging to Sala Calvet decided to create their own team: Club Deportivo de la Sala Calvet, which in time would become RC Deportivo de La Coruña.


1906: WHEN IT ALL STARTED
1906 is the year when Deportivo de la Sala Calvet was founded and the club's first ever president was Luis Cornide. Records indicate that back then the team consisted of Salvador Fojín, Venancio Deus, Juan Long, Angel Rodrí­guez, Manuel Alvarez, Daniel Aler, Paco Martí­nez, Félix de la Paz, Virgilio Rodrí­guez, Juan Manuel López and Martí­nez Urioste.

On 11 May, 1907, civil governor Luis Moyano passed the proper statute and regulations on the formation of the club. One and a half year later, Spanish King Alfonso XIII conceded the mark of royalty to the club while he also accepted the role of honorary president of the now called Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña. At the same time, Deportivo's first home pitch at Corral de la Gaiteira would become obsolete and they moved to a stadium now called Viejo Riazor.


THE FIRST DECADES
Because of the success of the Spanish national team in the 1920 Olympics in Ambers, football exploded throughout Spain. This eventually led to the establishment of a national tournament which would end the regional championships. This form had existed throughout the country's numerous provinces.

With football becoming part of the city, Deportivo began to take part in many friendly exhibitions within and out of Galicia until 1928, when the "Liga" was born. However, Depor failed to qualify for the Primera Divisi??n season 1928/1929. Instead they started playing in the Segunda División, where they eventually finished eighth in a division consisting of ten clubs. The other nine were Alavés, Sevilla, Celta, Valencia, Betis, Iberia, Oviedo, Gijón and Racing de Madrid.

In 1932, while still playing in the second division, Deportivo managed to eliminate Real Madrid from the Copa del Rey tournament. This was a big achievement because the club from the capital became Liga champions that season. For Deportivo this was only a hint of better things to come.


1941-1945: FIRST PERIOD IN THE PRIMERA DIVISI?“N
In a year when the Second World War was going on in the rest of Europe, and the world, and Franco was dictator in Spain, Deportivo finally managed to achieve promotion to the Primera División for the first time in its history. It took place after the season 1940/1941 when Murcia was defeated 2-1 in a match for promotion. The legendary Deportivo team of that day consisted of Acuña, Novo, Pedrito, Muntano, Molaza, Reboredo, Breijo, Guimerans, Eli­cegui, Chacho and Chao.

They were led by coach Hilario Marrero and each player earned 2.000 pesetas (not even 20 Euros) each for this achievement. This amount even had to be collected through public donations or other subscriptions because of the weak economic state of the club at that time.

The team finished fourth in the first year at the highest level (1941/1942) and there was a decision to built a new home. 1944 was the year of the inauguration of the new Riazor stadium, but the team encountered problems playing football at the highest level. This led to the first ever relegation from the Primera División in 1945.

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