Competition news

THE REVENGE OF THE FALLEN

25 Jun 2012
Five of the seven former league champions that suffered the relegation on last year are already back at the first division of their countries; only AS Monaco stayed down while America de Cali is on the way back to the elite.

There was a phenomenon on last year as several former league champions suffered the relegation after a terrible season that condemned them to an unexpected outcome at the second tier, there was criticism and especially doubts on the coming future. But almost all of these old glories have bounced back and already returned to the top league of their countries, two of them returned as crowned champions, though always suffering until the last matchday.

Deportivo La Coruña was called to be the dominant force at Spanish Liga Adelante, and it was like that though it faced a fierce opposition from RC Celta and Real Valladolid. In the end the Galician outfit had to wait until the penultimate matchday on the season in order to secure its spot at Primera División, in the way back home the Blanquiazul outfit clinched the title on the league and broke the record of points for one single tournament.



Vaz Te celebrates the winning goal for West Ham against Blackpool during the final game of the playoffs
More suffered was the road for English club West Ham United; The Hammers were the leaders at the Championship at some point of the tournament, but ended third behind Reading and Southampton, so they hay to clinch the promotion through the playoffs defeating Cardiff City with a 5-0 aggregate score and 2-1 in the final against Blackpool.

Eintracht Frankfurt’s Idrissou celebrates one of the goals against Alemannia Aachen (3-0) the day they secured the promotion
In Germany, former UEFA Cup champion Eintracht Frankfurt also faced some problems due to the tough competition, but managed to end as the runners-up at 2.Bundesliga (Zweite Bundesliga) lying two points below champion SpVgg Greuther Fürth and six points above third place Fortuna Düsseldorf, another former German champion that secured the promotion though they did it through the playoffs.

Trezeguet celebrating the first goal for River Plate against Almirante Brown
River Plate in Argentina was the latest champion to join the party, Los Millonarios just lasted 363 days at Segunda División (Primera A), clinching the title at Segunda División, though suffering in the way back as they had to wait until the last matchday in order to define the battle against Quilmes, Instituto and Rosario Central. On Saturday River defeated Almirante Brown with two goals scored by David Trezeguet and added 73 points to secure the goal.

Sampdoria’s players celebrate the promotion after beating Varese in the second-leg of the playoffs (1-0)
The other former champion that’s back in business is UC Sampdoria; the Italian outfit had the most suffered way among the fallen clubs as back in December they were at mid-table, but the Blucerchiati bounced back ending the Serie B tournament at the sixth position, last spot that was given a ticket to the playoffs, and they secured the promotion in two tight series, beating first Sassuolo (3-2) and later Varese (4-2).

Colombian club América de Cali is also on the road back to Primera División, the Red Devils have won 13 liga titles in the South American country and they are currently playing at the second tier for the first time in their history, but they haven’t been affected by the outcome and are the current leaders at Primera B Apertura adding 38 points in 18 games and having a five-point gap over second place Cortuluá.

Finally, the only former champion that won’t be able to return to the elite, at least for now, is French side AS Monaco; Les Rouge et Blanc could only end eighth at Ligue 2, eight points behind the promotion zone. At least they avoided a new relegation after a great reaction in the second round, and it’s that they were the bottom club at the middle of the tournament.

ARCHIVE NEWS JUN/11

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