Club Headquarters Plaza de Pontevedra 19, 1º, 15003 A Coruña Telephone: 981 259 500 Fax: 981 265 919
President: Augusto César Lendoiro
1. What are Depor's nickname(s)? Los Turcos (Spanish)/Os Turcos (Galician), Blanquiazules (Spanish)/Branquiazuis (Galician), SuperDepor
2. Why are there Turkish flags in the Riazor stadium? Other supporters, especially those from Vigo, call Deportivo supporters "Turcos" to insult them. But the Riazor Blues section have taken this name with pride and therefore show Turkish flags during matches.
3. What do "Real" and "Club Deportivo" mean? "Real Club Deportivo" means "Royal Sporting Association." So Deportivo are a 'royal' club next to clubs like Real Madrid, Real Mallorca, Real Sociedad, and others.
4. Why is the Depor hometown called both "La Coruña" and "A Coruña?" The town is called 'A Coruña' in Galician language, and it is the native name. It is the only official and legal name. However, in the Spanish language, it is traditionally called 'La Coruña'. Since Spanish has a wider influence worldwide than Galician, the "La Coruña" term has therefore become more widespread.
That is also why Depor is also both called "Deportivo da Coruña" (in Galician) and "Deportivo de la Coruña" (in Spanish).
5. What is Depor's mascot? Depor never had a mascot.
6. What is the stadium named after? The Riazor beach in A Coruña.
7. Who are Depor's rivals and why? Celta Vigo, the other Galician team. Both players and supporters have harsh confrontations during derby matches. Real Madrid and Barcelona are also rivals of Deportivo, but mainly because they're the biggest clubs around.
8. Why doesn't Depor sign the rich and famous players? Depor was deep in lower leagues until 1991 and the club's finances aren't that great yet. Depor have always tried to make profitable deals, signing players for the lowest price possible, practicing a strict wage policy. Therefore signing a star player would ruin the salary structure with every player wanting a pay rise.
9. Which famous players played for Depor in the past? Bebeto, Beguiristain, César Sampaio, Djukic, Flávio Conceiçao, Hadji, Luizão, Manjarín, Martín Vázquez, Pauleta and Rivaldo.
10. What are the "Riazor Blues"? The "Riazor Blues" were an official Depor fan club whose members attended Depor matches regularly. They disbanded in October 2003 because they felt that too many of their members were hiding among them to avoid taking responsibility for their individual football violence.
So "Riazor Blues" was an official term to denote members of that fan club, and is not used for any other Depor fan/player/club official.
11. What are "socios"? A "socio" is a supporter who is an official member of the club. Some of them pay more to become season-ticket holders, but for lower tariffs one can be a socio who enjoys (for example) lesser free matches. If you want to be a "socio", visit Depor's official site.
Estadio Municipal de Riazor c/ Manuel Murguía (no number) 15011 A Coruña Telephone: 981 271 214
Capacity: 34,611 seats Inaugurated: 28 October, 1944 Pitch size: 105 x 68 metres Services: changing room, sauna, clinic, recuperation room, antidoping control room. Radio cabins: 16 Journalists desks: 48, with TV-camera spots. Press room: 70 profesionals, 7 protagonists, simultaneous traduction, telephone lines, access to the internet and TV-camera spots. VIP terraces: 28 for 10 guests each. With their own shop, bar and restaurant service and TVs.
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Date: Wednesday 7 April, 2004 Event: Deportivo win 4-0 against AC Milan and survive 5-4 on aggregate
The European highlight against the reigning champions
In March 2004 the men of Javier Irureta had eliminated Champions League 2003 finalists Juventus 2-0 on aggregate and were drawn to meet reigning European champions AC Milan in the Quarter Finals. Despite a 0-1 lead in the San Siro stadium this was thrown away in the space of nine minutes as Deportivo lost 4-1. An impossible task remained in Riazor...
Hopes of a miracle
It were the days of a magnificent Italian team, leading the Serie A with a distance and hardly leaking goals. The defending Champions League holders had players like Cafú, Maldini, Nesta, Kaká and Shevchenko in their team and showed what they were capable of on that night in Northern-Italy.
For their part, Deportivo had never survived the Quarter Finals in the Champions League and this time their faith seemed to be the same as always. In the Liga the team did well although winning it looked difficult. Three of the four matches were lost in the weeks before the visit to Italy, meaning all eyes seemed set on these European encounters.
What was needed, of course, was a miracle in Riazor. But there was believe in the squad of Deportivo, while Irureta wanted the support of the crowd: "If we are capable of scoring two goals, they will score the third". Winger Albert Luque spoke of "an historic opportunity for the club to get into the Semi Finals and to make the end of the season very emotional. It will be extremely complicated though".
A Hurrican Unleashed in Riazor
On 7 April, 2004 it was shown once more miracles can exist in football. Irureta welcomed back Víctor Sánchez from an injury and fielded all the artillery he had available while Milan coach Ancelotti didn't want to take any risks and used all of his stars. But as soon as the match started it became evident this round wasn't over yet.
Deportivo were like a hurricane in the first minutes and put a lot of pressure upon Milan, taking an early lead when Walter Pandiani scored. The Uruguayan striker received a cross from the left, turned around Paolo Maldini and shot through the Italian's legs to beat Dida. This was the start that Deportivo wanted and Milan had wanted to avoid.
The Riazor crowd got behind the team and the Galicians went on in a furious rhythm. There was no time to take free kicks or corner kicks in a slow pace and the passion was converted into a deluge of chances. Milan produced one when Kaká had a one-on-one with Molina. But the Deportivo goalkeeper kept his focus on the ball, saved the try of Kaká and send it spinning across goal for the defence to hack away. A vital save because an Italian goal would mean Depor needing to win 4-1 to earn extra-time.
But it was not much Milan showed in the first half. Their movement looked sluggish and, as unusual as it might sound, their defence was shaking under the Galician pressure. The dream scenario of Deportivo became a reality when after thirty-five minutes Valerón headed in a cross from Luque and the Galicians now were just one goal away from a miracle. Riazor went crazy and the stands were about to burst because of the noise and movements produced by the crowd. Meanwhile, Milan seemed to shrink in the face of such aggressive opposition.
Within forty-five minutes the task seemed almost accomplished when Luque used a mistake of Nesta to have a clear run towards Dida. His clinical left-foot shot ended up in the top corner, to leave the Italians astonished. Moments later the referee ended the first half and the Deportivo team ran into the dressing room indicating that they wanted to return as soon as possible.
Dreams Can Come True
After the break Milan were already waiting on the pitch, while Deportivo slowly appeared as gladiators in front of their victims. And it had an immediate effect as Milan looked bewildered at the start of the second half. They had a lot of possession but only could create one good chance, missed by Tomasson. And after Ancelotti took off Pirlo it looked like the angle was taken out of the Italian team.
Meanwhile, Irureta reacted too and brought Fran for Luque. A usual substitution that season. Fran's lethal moves were normally meant to finish off the opponent, but this time the gifted midfielder did it himself. His shot from the left was deflected by Milan defender Cafú but enough to beat Dida. There still remained the danger though of Milan reaching extra-time by scoring just one goal, but they looked lifeless and helpless and simply never were capable to save this match.
The amazing come-back of Deportivo also meant that another page of history was added to the Champions League. With the 4-0 victory Deportivo became the first side ever to overcome a three-goal first-leg deficit in this prestigious tournament. Coach Irureta was in troubles though as he had promised to make the sacred route to Santiago de Compostela on his knees if his team was able to eliminate Milan. He would make the journey that summer, but he'll be forgiven that he did it walking together with his technical staff.
Deportivo: Molina - Manuel Pablo, Jorge Andrade, Naybet, Romero - Víctor Sánchez, Sergio (86 Duscher), Mauro Silva, Luque (65 Fran), Valerón (90 Djalminha) - Pandiani AC Milan: Dida - Cafú, Nesta, Maldini, Pancaro (77 Rui Costa) - Gattuso, Pirlo (59 Serginho), Seedorf, Kaká - Shevchenko, Tomasson (67 Inzaghi) Goals: 5' Pandiani 1-0 35' Valerón 2-0 44' Luque 3-0 76' Fran 4-0 Referee: Urs Meier (Switzerland). Showed yellow cards to Víctór Sánchez and Pandiani of Deportivo and to Pirlo of AC Milan Attendance: 30,000 (Riazor)
The rumours about the possible arrival of Roman Abramovich as shareholder of Deportivo aren't new, in fact Lendoiro maintained contacts with several people that surround the Russian billionaire in order to study in his words the 'new ways of football'. Abramovich's participation in the Galician squad will need that the board of Depor will disallow the current rules about the property of the club’s shares.
Roman Abramovich is trying to conquer the world of football with his money. His fortune valuated in $20,000 million has let him participate in several clubs around the world like Chelsea (England), Corinthians (Brazil), and CSKA Moskow (Russia). Now he wants to enter into Spain and Deportivo seems like a tasty target for him.
Abramovich knows that the economy of the club is passing through a difficult moment and he wants to take advantage of it. It's true that the Galician club has won a lot of money with their participation in the Champions League, but the expenses needed to maintain the team between the Spanish elite and the absence of support from the local government has damaged the situation.
The increase of capital was the alternative chosen by Lendoiro in 2004 to solve the problem ,but the recollection of the €60 million isn't successful. In two years the response of the community has been poor and the club has fulfilled less than 10% of the amount expected. Lendoiro even said in January that if this situation continues the shareholders would be tempted to open the doors to investors coming from other regions, including Russia.
Then, on March Lendoiro traveled to London in order to have meetings with several people surrounding Abramovich, one of those reunions occurred with the officials of GSA (Global Soccer Agency), a fund that buys players in order to negotiate with them. Lendoiro has always said that his trip was in order to establish relationship and to know the operations of this so called 'new world order in football'. He always denied the intentions to sell the club to a foreign investor, instead he supports the arrival of local investment to the club.
Now, a report of the British newspaper Daily Mail claims that an official sent by Abramovich has had contacts with Lendoiro last week, apparently the Russian billionaire is preparing his arrival to Deportivo, a fact that has been managed with discretion. Despite of the intentions of Chelsea's owner his participation in the increase of capital will only be allowed if the board of shareholders removes the limitation of 1% that restricts the participation of each shareholder in Deportivo. The next meeting of the board will occur in December, a reunion that will be vital for the future of the club.