June 18, 2021

Mallorca returns to the First Division on a roller coaster


Mallorca players celebrate their latest triumph.

Mallorca players celebrate their latest triumph.
EP

The Majorca has conquered this Tuesday the ninth promotion to First division of its history uploaded in a roller coaster, that has taken him in the last four years to move up and down in category without stopping.

The return to LaLiga a season later crowns a brilliant career of the group of Luis Garcia Plaza, used since 2017, when he sank into the Second B well, to celebrating more triumphs than lamenting defeats.

Mallorca, with the fourth highest budget in the category (19 million euros), after Espanyol (45.3), Almería (27.6) and Leganés (26.7), he has hit the right keys to regain a place in the First Division just one year after losing it.

He overcame with tuition the trauma of being left without his fetish coach, Vicente Moreno, the one with the three promotions in a row, and without his main players, the Croatian Ante Budimir (Osasuna), the Japanese Take Kubo (Getafe) and the Colombian “Cucho” Hernández (Getafe).

He bet on Luis García Plaza, a well-known coach who in recent seasons had been practicing in Saudi Arabia and China and, therefore, disconnected from the day-to-day Spanish football.

The Madrid coach maintained, with very good criteria as has been shown, the block of recent years and trusted other players who have been key in the ascent as Abdón Prats, Íñigo Ruiz de Galarreta, Antonio Sánchez and Amath Ndiayé.

The Mallorcanists’ campaign in most of the tournament was spectacular: for eight months they did not lose any away games, their defense was the least beaten practically the entire season and when they reached the top of the standings, nobody moved them from there.

Luis García’s Mallorca, moreover, has beaten its historical records of points in one season (total 76) in Second Division, surpassing the 73 of Vicente Moreno in Second B, the 70 of Tomeu Llompart in the 1996-1997 season and the 71 of Luis Aragonese in First (2000-2001).

The team, however, went through difficult times in the final leg of the championship, which was very uphill after adding 2 points of 18 at stake in six consecutive starts.

The loss of solidity away from Son Moix, which was his strong point, made him doubt, but he was lucky that his rivals in the fight for direct promotion did not know how to take advantage of that bump.

Mallorca, back in Primera through the big door, resists being known as the ‘elevator team’.

Its managers believe they have learned from the mistakes of the past year and they look at themselves in the mirror of the brilliant cycle of 16 consecutive seasons in the top flight, playing European finals, the Champions League and winning a King’s Cup.

The American ownership of the Balearic entity, with Robert Sarver at the helm, and the directors Pablo Ortells, sports director, and Alfonso Díaz, business director, they have already got to work to make a team that does not clash among the ‘greats’ of Spanish football.

Sarver, owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, has invested about 45 million euros since joining the club in January 2016.

That amount includes the 9 million of the funds it contributed after the last capital increase in November of last year, in a bet decided by the Vermilion entity.

Mallorca returns to the First Division with the aim of staying “many years” in the best league in the world, as their managers say.

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