Giants awaken: Deportivo La Coruna earn promotion back to Segunda on the back of fairytale goal



Sleeping giants Deportivo La Coruรฑa woke up on Sunday evening, securing their return to the second division after a four-year absence from Spain's top two divisions with a victory over Barcelona Athletic in Riazor. Although there is a little lethargy on the Galician coast, with a noisy atmosphere.

This was their longest spell in Spain's third tier in their history, and the height of the financial ruin that saw them relegated into two divisions within three seasons, having won La Liga two decades earlier in 2000.

Their 1-0 win came courtesy of 35-year-old former Arsenal striker Lucas Perez, who paid around half a million euros out of his own pocket to return to his boyhood club from Cรกdiz 18 months ago, dropping two divisions in the process. He promised to bring Deportivo, and a year later than expected, he scored the winning goal in the league.

“I came to help. I'm very happy to see Corona in this way, very happy to be back in professional football with Deportivo; it's joyful. When you feel the excitement of coming home, you always imagine that beautiful things will happen. He told Relevo: “It's amazing that “We see the atmosphere and we make people happy.”

โ€œTo the fans I can only say thank you very much for everything you have given me and blessed me with. I hope that we will be very happy, that they will bring us great satisfaction at Deportivo and that we can all enjoy it together,โ€ Perez said, although he admitted that he was not Certain about his future, with his contract expiring at the end of the season.

Perez scored 12 goals and provided 17 assists in the 30 matches he played this season, leading the way despite his advanced age. It's a historic season for Deportivo too, who have nearly 28,500 season ticket holders this season, an all-time high even during the glory years of winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey, with a capacity of 32,490 fans.

Barcelona plays its last two matches against third-placed Nastic and fourth-placed Celta Fortuna, hoping to maintain its playoff position and second place. Coach Rafael Marquez said he was happy with the team's performance against the strong Deportivo team, which has not lost in 17 matches so far, despite some controversial refereeing. In particular, 17-year-old Marc Bernal has emerged at the base of midfield, fueling hope that he could be a long-term solution in Barcelona's centre, after an excellent performance.

Deportivo's return to the second division will be welcomed by many, as one of the strongest Spanish forces at the beginning of the 21st century. It also brings the possibility of the Galician derby closer, a keenly felt rivalry that has only been fueled by several victories for Celta B (Fortuna) over Deportivo's first team.





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