JOSÉ MARÍA AIRA LINDOSO

Date of Birth: 14 March, 1976
Nationality: Spain
Period at Deportivo: 1996 - 2002
Transfer: (1996, Deportivo B)
Clubs: Pol. Ejido (2002-2005), Sporting de Gijón (2001-2002, loan), Racing de Ferrol (2000-2001, loan), Tenerife (1999-2000, loan), Deportivo (1996-2002), Deportivo B (1995-1999)
Sold: ? (2002, to Pol. Ejido)
Height: 181 cm
Weight: 78 kg
Position: Defender (central/right)

Deportivo B defender AIRA was barely twenty years old when he was offered the opportunity by coach John Toshack to make his debut in the Primera División. One year earlier he and his colleagues at the B-team (like Viqueira, David, Braulio and Maikel) had achieved promotion back to the Segunda División B and this was more or less his reward.

It was 26 May, 1996 when Deportivo were finishing an unsuccessful season. The team didn’t qualify for European football and that night said goodbye to Bebeto in Riazor. It concerned a 2-2 draw against Barcelona and Aira played it from finish to start next to experienced colleagues Voro, López-Rekarte and Villarroya. Maikel also made his debut during the same encounter.

But chances became rare in the first team. In fact, it would take almost two years when he played another match at the highest level. This concerned an away match at Valladolid on 14 February, 1998. Deportivo suffered from a flu-virus and players away on international duty, lined up four youngsters (Aira, Pinillos, David and Padín) and brought three new ones (Maikel, Deus and Toni) that night.

Between these two matches players like Naybet, Ramis and Armando were added to a squad already containing Djukic, Voro, Donato and Paco. Lendoiro and his board wanted to make Deportivo grow fast and there was no time to give youth players a lot of opportunities.

Under new coach Javier Irureta he wasn’t used a single minute in the Liga 1998/1999 and a solution had to be found. In 1999, aged twenty-three, he was loaned out to Tenerife and after it to Racing de Ferrol and Sporting de Gijón. In the year his third loan deal ended, 2002, a permanent solution had to be found because Aira already had experienced three loan deals in Spain, a limit set by the Spanish FA.

On 15 July 2002 he rejoined Deportivo during their pre-season but again Irureta didn’t count on him. There was no other choice but to sell him despite his contract only was supposed to run out in 2004. Aira went to Polideportivo Ejido from the Segunda División but Deportivo demanded an option to buy him back. He became an important figure for them, Deportivo didn’t act and in 2004 was offered to renew his contract.

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