Squad news


12 Nov 2011
For the first time in 33 years the teams of Celta and Deportivo are facing each other with a large number of native players, at the same time only a handful number of players have participated in a previous Galician derby.

This Sunday’s derby between RC Deportivo La Coruña and RC Celta will have a special taste for Galicia, because for the first time in 33 years both teams have an important percentage of players that are born in the region, more exactly 18 of the 49 men at both first squads (the 37%) are Galicians. It’s the biggest number since the 20 Galician players saw during the derbies of the season 1977/78, also played at Segunda División.

Celta has passed through difficult moments in an economic sense and the best medicine was to trust in the products of Celta B, in this way the first team is currently composed by eleven Galician players. Meanwhile, Depor is now trying to do the same, and in this way Oltra’s team has six Galician players at the first squad plus one youngster that’s alternating between the first and the second team.

These seven men are central defender David Rochela, right-back Diego Seoane, centre midfielders Álex Bergantiños and Borja Fernandez, playmakers Juan Dominguez and Juan Carlos, plus right winger Pablo Álvarez. This last one was born in Asturias, but lived almost all his life in Galicia and even played in the past for the extinct Galician regional team, reason why people includes him on the list.

The seven Galician players at Deportivo

However, the participation of Galician players at both starting teams is following opposite roads; during the past match with FC Cartagena, Celta presented six Galician players as part of the its starting eleven, that’s almost the half of the team: goalkeeper Yoel Rodríguez, central defenders Andrés José Túñez and Jonathan Vila, right back Roberto Lago, midfielder Álex López and playmaker/striker Iago Aspas.

Meanwhile, at Deportivo the only Galician player that’s a usual starter in the lineups of Oltra is centre midfielder Álex Bergantiños, actually two of the Galician players, Juan Carlos and Borja Fernandez, hasn’t debuted yet in liga.

As a way of comparison, the Galician players at Celta accumulate 6,884 minutes on the liga season, while Depor’s Galician men have only added 1,469; which mean the fifth part of Celta’s number. Seven of the thirteen Galician players at Celta have already passed the mark of 500 minutes on the Segunda season, while at Depor only Álex Bergantiños can match this mark, curiously he is the only Galician player in the derby that already passed the mark of 1,000 on the campaign (1,031).

For Sunday’s derby, coach Paco Herrera will probably present, again, six Galician players at the starting squad, because he is losing Andres Tuñes as he is concentrated with Spain’s U-21 squad, but at the same time he’s recovering playmaker Borja Oubiña, who’s appointed to be a starter after surpassing an injury.

At Depor, only Álex Bergantiños has a secure place at the starting lineup, and Oltra still has to decide if he will make some room for Juan Dominguez or Borja Fernandez at midfield, one of them could be replacing suspended Jesús Vázquez, while Pablo Álvarez has small options to claim the spot left by Guardado.

In the end, the public at the Riazor will at least watch seven Galician players over the pitch, that’s a big difference compared to the two Galicians saw in the last derby of 2007: Iago Iglesias at Depor, and Borja Oubiña at Celta.

Another interesting fact is the number of players that are debuting in a Galician derby, because for the major part of the players at both teams this is their first ever Galician derby; actually only five men between both teams have already played the biggest match in Galicia; at Celta the only one is Borja Oubiña, while at Depor the four veterans of past derbies are: Manuel Pablo, Valerón, Pablo Álvarez and Riki.



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