Remember the 1999/00 season, which will forever be remembered in the history of Deportivo La Coruna. Then the club recorded perhaps its most glorious head in history, lifting the La Liga trophy for the first time.
At that time, Deportivo was better known by its nickname "Super Deportivo". After winning the Spanish championship, he competed on the most prestigious European club scene for five consecutive seasons. In the period 2000-2004, without exception, he was fighting for the title in Spain, finishing in the top 3.
The head of the Super Depor was Javier Irureta, who had players with qualities and talent. Players such as Diego Tristan, Albert Luque, Roy Macai, Jalminya, Jorge Andrade, Juan Carlos Valeron and many, many others played for the team.
Deportivo was among the most successful teams not only in Spain but also in European club tournaments. In 2004, the team reached the semifinals of the Champions League after one of the most famous twists of the XXI century.
The evening in which Deportivo caught up with three goals after the first match and eliminated Milan with 5: 4 overall, will remain forever in the minds of football fans. After 4: 1 in the first match in favor of the "Rossoneri", the Spanish team went ahead in the race after a famous turn and a 4-0 victory in the rematch.
Thus, Super Depor joined the elite company in the top 4 - Monaco, Chelsea and Porto, losing to the Portuguese champion, led by Jose Mourinho. Porto subsequently lifted the trophy after a 3-0 victory in the final against Monaco.
The ensuing events are a real nightmare for Deportivo, writes DailyMail. The glorious days are long gone and today the memories of them are fading more and more.
We return to the present when Deportivo is in the third echelon of Spanish football, struggling not to fall further down the football hierarchy.
Last season, the team was relegated to the Segunda Division B for the first time since 1983, and this season it experienced a goal drought that lasted 628 minutes.
There is a real danger that Deportivo La Coruna will find itself in the fifth division next season if the planned changes in the lower football leagues are made in Spain.
However, the team managed to win its last three games and finished in fourth place out of ten teams. This ranking guarantees Deportivo that it will not end up in the fifth division. The "blue and whites" remained at one point in the playoffs, the last place in them was taken by the second team of Celta Vigo.
Now upcoming very important matches for Deportivo. The team will play a mini-tournament in which a total of 4 teams will take part. If he manages to finish in the top 2, then after the planned changes, La Coruna will play in the third division next season.
"The reality is that we need to raise our level immediately. We may be disappointed, but there is no time to whine, "said Deportivo coach Ruben de la Barrera recently.
The sad demise of Deportivo La Coruna should be an example to any club that several years of mismanagement can lead to a serious collapse in the football hierarchy.
After his strongest years in history, several seasons followed for Deportivo, in which he finished in the middle of the table. Debts of £ 85 million were quickly accumulated, and in 2011 the worst happened and the "blue and whites" were eliminated in the second division. Three years later, the team returned to the elite, but each season it was very difficult to keep its place. This led to 2017/18, when the real collapse began. The financial situation of the club does not stop deteriorating, which led to a change of ownership.
Deportivo could end up in the fourth division if he is not careful. Captain Alex Bergantinos realizes that now the only goal must be to limit the damage after another chaotic year.
"Memories don't play a role in football. It is difficult to swallow it, but given how the year has developed for us, it will be extremely important to stay in the third division. At the beginning of the season, staying in the third division we would consider it a huge failure, given the expectations of the people to Deportivo. Earlier in the year, when the times were the hardest for us, we accepted the position we are in, "said Bergantinos, who joined the club in 2004 and witnessed the great collapse in the first place.
Who would have thought that Deportivo could be in a similar situation when it was at the top of Spanish football 17 years ago? The Spanish team is going through extremely difficult times. Even heavier ones can come if he is relegated to the fourth division.