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11 things we’d forgotten about Deportivo’s La Liga winning campaign

Prepare your feels because this one is going to take you right back.

The year was 1999, Man United hadn’t yet won the treble, and Deportivo were preparing for a Leicester-esque run to the La Liga title.

With a side mainly comprised of hard working Spaniards, and a touch of stardust from a South American maverick, Depor shocked everyone to take Spain’s top crown.

But how much do you remember about their title charge?

1 Their keeper was Gabor Kiraly’s fahion icon

Jacques Songo’o was arguably the best African goalkeeper ever. He also had a penchant for tracksuit bottoms which makes him a legend in our eyes.



2 The Samba boys were chalk and cheese

In one corner you had Djalminha. Ludicrously talented and capable of the spectacular but with the work ethic of a sloth. In the other corner you had Flavio Conceicao and Maruo Silva. Rock solid and reliable. Together the trio of Brazilians formed the core of Depor’s side.



3 Depor’s manager achieved a unique double

Javier Irureta is the only man to manager two Galician sides, Deportivo and Celta, as well as two Basque sides, Atheltic Bilbao and Real Sociedad. Trailblazer.



4 Real Madrid got spanked 5-2

Deportivo ran riot at the Riazor, with Djalminha scoring a stunning free kick. Madrid’s side wasn’t half bad either, with Roberto Carlos, Rail and Fernando Hierro all playing.


5 And Depor did the double over Barcelona

Louis van Gaal’s philoshophy was dismantled home and away by Depor who won 2-1 at both the Riazor and Nou Camp. Tough luck Rivaldo.



6 Cristiano Ronaldo’s idol couldn’t even get in the Depor team

Pauleta, a man who at one stage held both PSG and Portugal’s goalscoring records, couldn’t even get in the Deoprtivo team, starting just 12 games, thanks to the presence of Roy Makaay.



7 Arsenal would have romped the league

Yes, you read that right. Arsenal would have breezed La Liga judging by their performance against Depor in the UEFA Cup. The Gunners won 5-1 at Highbury in a performance so commanding that even Lee Dixon managed to score.



8 Claudio Ranieri wasn’t flying quite as high

Neither were John Toshack or Guus Hiddink for that matter. All three were La Liga managerial casualties over the course of the season. Diddly-ding, diddly-dong.



9 No one remembers the top scorer

Go on, name him! Patrick Kluivert? Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink? Raul? Savo Milosevic? Diego Tristan? All fell behind the humble Salva, of Racing Santander, who hit a career purple patch and scored 27 goals to lift the Pichichi. We doubt Bolton fans even remember him.



10 It was win at all costs

No side drew fewer games that season than Deportivo who clearly took the ‘three points or nothing’ approach to life, in stark contrast to any Sam Allardyce side.



11 And one man loved it all so much he’s still there

Manuel Pablo, at the ripe ol’ age of 40, is still bombing up and down Deportivo’s right flank. Okay, so he may only play (very) occasionally, but we doth our hats to him and his efforts at keeping the good times rolling.



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