Historic Matches - Copa del Rey 1995

DATE: Tuesday 27 June, 1995
EVENT: Deportivo win their first ever trophy by beating Valencia in the Copa del Rey final.

Thirteen months had elapsed since Djukic missed his notorious penalty-kick against Valencia and Deportivo wasted a golden opportunity to win their first ever trophy. At that moment no one would have thought another chance, this time concerning the Copa del Rey, would arrive as soon as it did. On 24 June, 1995 both teams met again in the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu to decide which team would lift the Copa del Rey.

Deportivo had reached the final after beating Lleida, Athletic de Bilbao and Sporting de Gijón. For their part, Valencia had eliminated Salamanca, Real Madrid, Real Mallorca and Albacete to claim their spot in the repetition of the notorious match of 1994. As Valencia had nothing at stake during that dramatic Liga match it had surprised all concerning Deportivo how the Valencia players had celebrated their 0-0 draw in Riazor. But now there was a perfect opportunity for revenge.

Those were the days when Superdepor was formed, a team consisting of some hardworking veteran players who were accompanied by the magical left foot of Fran González and the skills and goals of Brazilian striker Bebeto. Deportivo just had their third consecutive good season as they finished second behind Liga champions Real Madrid. But would the team finally be able to win a prize this time?

On Saturday 24 June, 1995, Spanish King Don Juan Carlos watched in a sold-out stadium in Madrid how both teams fought about the prize named after him. Deportivo were the dominant team and took the initiative from the start. The Galicians were rewarded after 36 minutes when striker Javier Manjarí­n took advantage of a mistake by Valencia defender Giner and beat legendary goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta: 1-0. Deportivo took the lead into the break and were now just 45 minutes away from winning their first even trophy.

But in the second half the match turned around and Valencia, with players like Mendieta, Mazinho and Penev, started to built up the pressure. In their team was Yugoslavian midfielder Predrag Mijatovic, well known for his dangerous free-kicks. When presented his first opportunity Mijatovic was close to scoring. But after 70 minutes he found the net and the match was level again: 1-1.

However, as the match approached its end, more and more rain came down from the clouds as the weather had deteriorated during the evening. Soon the pitch looked like a swimming pool and it was impossible to continue the match. Referee Garcí­a-Aranda decided to suspend the match and resume it on 27 June.

So three days later, the same teams met again in the same stadium to play the final 11 minutes of this match. But as the score was 1-1 there was a good chance that the match could get into extra-time. Three days before, midfielder Alfredo had replaced another midfielder, Aldana, after 50 minutes of playing time. So it was Alfredo who appeared at the restart of this match, which would make him legendary at Deportivo.

Just moments after Garcí­a-Aranda had restarted the match, it was Javier Manjarí­n who had possession at the left. The speedy player started a run towards the centre and launched a high ball into the area. There Alfredo was waiting to control the ball with his chest and to head it past goalkeeper Zubizarreta, who had come out of his goal in vain. 58 seconds after the restart, Deportivo had taken another lead, which it would not throw away again.

When the final whistle was blown, Deportivo had won their first ever trophy and the large Galician crowd in the stadium went crazy, especially when captain José Ramón, Fran's elder brother, lifted the trophy in front of thousands of Deportivo supporters. By winning this Copa del Rey trophy, Deportivo became the first Galician club to win a Spanish trophy. Several others would follow after it.

Deportivo: Liaño - Nando, Voro, Djukic, Ribera, López Rekarte - Fran, Donato, Aldana (50' Alfredo) - Manjarí­n (90' Claudio), Bebeto. Coach: Arsenio Iglesias
Valencia: Zubizarreta - Camarasa, Giner, Juan Carlos (82' Gálvez), Roberto - Mendieta, Mazinho, Poyatos, Fernando - Mijatovic,  Penev. Coach: José Manuel Rielo
Goals: 1-0: (36') Manjarí­n, 1-1: (70') Mijatovic, 2-1: (80') Alfredo
Referee: Garcí­a-Aranda
Attendance: (Estadio Santiago Bernabéu)