Last year several of the world's most prestigious soccer clubs had an unexpected and upleasant fate:they were demoted to the second divisions of their countries.Fotrunately for their fans,three of these fallen giants had the strength to return where they belong,to their elite leagues,after just one year.These are the 3 clubs who rose from their own ashes and are eager to leave their nightmares behind and regain their lost glory.
Undoubtedly the big shock in world soccer in 2011 was the relegation of Argentinian superpower River Plate for the first time in 110 years of history;not even the absurdArgentinian relegation system which takes into account an average of the results recorded by teams from Primera Division in the last 3 years to establish who goes down and which was especially created to try to save big clubs from falling down could save River that time.There were riots in the streets of Buenos Aires caused by River fans who couldn't accept such a humiliation for their beloved team,and a lot of joy for rival fans,especially those of Boca Juniors.
Eventually,River had no other choice but to accept the humiliation and start climbing to the top again.The team trained by former great player Matias Almeyda and helped,among others by French superstar David Trezeguet,who agreed to play at quite a low level such the Argentinian second division to help revive the legend of a mighty club,managed to win the Primera B Nacional with 73 points,one ahead of Quilmes,and celebrated in style:50,000 crazy fans were in ecstasy at the end of the match against Almirante Brown(2-0),which sealed River's return to the first division.I guess everyone,even their fierce rivals,missed the classic of Argentinian and World Soccer last year:Boca-River.Fortunately,with River's return El Superclasico will also return and I'm quite sure that River will do its best to avoid reliving the nightmare from 2011 in the following decades.
2.DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA
I must admit I was absolutely stunned and even sad last year when hearing that Deportivo La Coruna,one of the teams I admire,was relegated.The team which had impressed many people with its evolutions in the Champions League,especially in 2004,when they were only one step away from the final,and who managed to win a title in 2000 and spoil Real Madrid's centennial by winning the Spanish Cup in 2002 in a final played at Santiago Bernabeubecame weaker and weaker in the past years and unfortunately the inevitable happened last year.
Luckily Depor's fans stood behind their team and filled the stadium as they hadn't done it very often in the last years spent in Primera Division,and with a new coach and several players,such as Mexican superstar Andres Guardado or veteran Juan Carlos Valeron remaining to help the team regain its status as a first-division club,Deportivo's march back to Liga BBVA was triumphant;with 91 points in 42 games,Depor was in control of the second division and now it's back and probably determined to become an important name in Spanish football again.I hope to see them fighting for a place in Europe again,but that remains to be seen.
From the Champions League play-offs to Serie B,that was the unexpected evolution of Sampdoria in the season 20010-2011at the end of which the fans of their city rivals Genoa 1893 celebrated in the streets by marching along a coffin representing,of course,Sampdoria!Luckily,the former Champions League finalist is back in Serie A after only one year.The road back wasn't easy at all for Sampdoria,who finished the regular season in 6th place,thus earning the last place in the promotion play-off,which they eventually won.It's interesting to see if Samp can continue its progress,following the footsteps ofNapoli,a team who had even lived the unpleasant experience of playing in the third division,and now it's one of the top Italian clubs again.
These are,in my opinion,the three most important clubs who managed to get over the disappointment of relegation and get back in their first divisions after just one year.Congratulations to them and good luck in the following season!