A Golden Day for Galicia as Depor and Celta return to the top

Out of all the bits of Spain that be, Galicia is by far LLL’s favourite.

The least is a fairly hefty list involving Barcelona’s metro system, which feels like the opening titles of The Equaliser but with added rats, and the large chunks of Alicante which smell funny. When the blog found out that the city’s waste disposal contract distribution system was under investigation by The Plod, it was not at all surprised, let’s say, as there was the feeling that the most tip-top provider may not have won out.

In contrast to Andalucia, which tends to be too hot and too noisy – and often too incomprehensible – to the delicate-skinned, party-hating LLL, Galicia is just perfect. It has rolling green hills, tasty white wine and calm, peaceful locals who rarely use their car horns. It’s also a huge centre for global drug smuggling, but that’s a whole different topic.

FFT TRAVEL Our interactive guide to Spain's north-west

Galicia also has two Primera football teams once again, with the final day of the regular season in la Segunda ending three weeks after the completion of la Primera. Why that is, the blog doesn’t know. Although there are two extra sides in the league compared to the division above, there are no European games clogging up the midweeks and teams tend to be knocked out of the Copa del Rey fairly early doors.

Anyway, having won the division, Deportivo la Coruña are back, back, back. The Galicians were horrendously dull the season before last with Miguel Angel Lotina’s safety-first, -second and -third policy getting the side relegated, a successful ploy he reused on Villarreal in the campaign just gone.

The northern side dumped Lotina and opted for the more attack-minded José Luis Oltra, who largely had the bulk of the squad from last season with Rikkkkki!!! managing a whopping 14 goals to help Deportivo to the top of the table with 91 points. Andrés Guardado – remember him? – chipped in with 11, but the Mexican has since been sold to Valencia.

Celta Vigo had to wait until Sunday’s final match of the season, a game in which a draw was fine for both themselves and Córdoba, a team looking to secure a play-off spot. Remarkably, a draw was what both teams managed, with a goalless game that had 1591 passes, zero shots on goal and just the seven fouls.

“We knew that a draw was enough and we focused on being tight at the back and letting time pass,” admitted Borja Oubiña. Celta have had a very challenging five years in la Segunda with financial problems aplenty, but have been led back to la Primera by Paco Herrera, a coach who has been plodding about at teams such as Albacete and Numancia since 1991, as well as a coaching spot at Liverpool under Rafa Benítez.

These two northern stars will be joined in next season’s top flight by either Valladolid, Alcorcón, Hércules or Córdoba, after a play-off process which doesn’t finish until 17th June – giving the winners a month’s less preparation time than 17 of their competitors next season.

Leaving the division are Villarreal’s B team – who finished a very respectable 12th, but have had their efforts wasted by the bungling of their relegated first team, who have taken their spot – as well as Cartagena, Alcoyano and ‘Nastic.

One of the sides coming up to take their places is Real Madrid’s second team, Castilla, meaning two mini-Clásicos next season, and two mini-kerfuffles. Rather than eye-poking, it might be a case of rubber band-flicking between the two benches in the year to come. 

But this won’t be of any concern to Deportivo and Celta Vigo, two great names of Spanish football and clubs that La Liga Loca welcomes back with a warm embrace.