Manager – Eduardo Berizzo
Captain – Borja Oubina
President – Carlos Mourino
Ground – Estadio Municipal de Balaidos (Balaidos Municipal Stadium)
Nickname – Os Celestes (The Sky Blues)
Founded in the year 1923, Celta de Vigo or simply Celta Vigo is one of the 20 teams to be part of the forthcoming 2015/16 Spanish first division league season. Nicknamed the “Os Celestes” meaning the Sky Blues, Celta de Vigo had a highly successful 2014/15 campaign finishing 8th in the league.
Celta has been a part of 50 of the 84 La Liga seasons till date and have spent only 2 seasons outside the top two divisions of Spanish football. The Os Celestes play their home games at the Balaidos Municipal Stadium in Vigo which has a seating capacity of 31,800.
Celta de Vigo beginnings
Celta de Vigo finds it’s roots in two local Galician sides – Real Vigo Sporting and Real Club Fortuna de Vigo. Spanish football at that time was dominated by clubs from Basque and the idea was for the two Galician clubs to come together to put on a strong challenge in the national scene, as formulated by Faro de Vigo sportswriter Manuel de Castro.
Manuel de Castro finally presented the idea at the assembly of the Royal Spanish Football Federation on 22 June, 1923 in Madrid. The motion was collectively passed and in a meeting held on the 12th July, 1923 the merger was officially approved.
Though a number of names were discussed they ultimately decided on the name Real Club Celta de Vigo and in short R.C. Celta de Vigo.
Celta de Vigo Trophy Cabient
Copa del Rey
Immediately after the formation of the new club Celta de Vigo entered the 1924 Copa del Rey tournament at the quarter finals stages but ended up losing Athletic Bilbao 7-2 on aggregate.
Although Celta de Vigo has been a part of every Copa del Rey tournament since 1924 (expect for the 1952/53 and 1968/69 season) they have never won the competition with their best performance being three runners-up finishes with the most recent of them being in 2000/01.
Best Performance – Runners-up x 3 – 1947/48, 1993/94 and 2000/01.
La Liga Performance
As already mentioned Celta de Vigo has been a part of 50 of the 84 La Liga seasons till date. Celta have not won the La Liga during its history even once in their history but they’ve had several great seasons with the most notable of them being a string of top 6 finishes between 1997/98 and 2002/03 which had earned them the nickname “Eurocelta”.
Though Celta haven’t had much luck in winning the La Liga they’ve won the 2nd division (Segunda Division) of Spanish football a total of 3 times with the last of those wins coming in the 1991/92 season.
La Liga Best Finish – 4th place – 1947/48 and 2002/03
Despite not being really a major player in Spanish football Celta de Vigo does have an impressive resume when it comes to European competitions. Celta’s only appearance in the Champions League came in the 2003/04 season when they exceeded expectations by reaching the round of 16 stages of the tournament despite being grouped along with Ajax, AC Milan and Club Brugge. They went out in the round of 16 by losing 2-5 on aggregate against Arsenal.
Celta had recorded seven appearances in the Uefa Cup till date with their best ever performance being three Quarter-final appearances in 1998/99, 1999/00 and 2000/01. Celta qualified for the 2000/01 Uefa campaign after winning the 2000 UEFA Intertoto Cup and this remains their only major trophy till date.
Best Performance – 2000 Intertoto Cup winner
Men who have made a difference
- Francis Cuggy
Francis Cuggy became Celta Vigo’s first manager in 1923. He was a former England international and a Football League winner with Sunderland and Celta Vigo was his second and last managerial job. Under Cuggy Celta won their first ever trophy – 1923/24 Galician championship.
- Ramon Encinas
Ramon Encinas spend his playing days with Racing de Vigo and took up his first managerial post with Celta de Vigo. In the three years he was with them they won the Galician championship once in 1929/30. After his time with Celta he would go on to manage teams like Real Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia.
- Ricardo Zamora
Ricardo Zamora was a former Spanish international and is one among the elite few to have played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers to have ever played the game. He managed Celta on three separate occasions, the first stint was between 1946 and 1949 and he led Celta to their highest ever finish in the La Liga in 1947/48 and also finished runners-up in the La Liga that season.
His second stint with Celta was between 1953 and 1955 and the last time was in 1960.
- Txetxu Rojo
Former Spanish International and Athletic Bilbao legend Txetxu Rojo managed Celta de Vigo between 1990 and 1994. During his time with the club they won the 1991/92 Segunda Division and finished runners up in the 1993/94 edition of the Copa del Rey.
- Victor Fernandez
Fernandez managed Celta for a total of four season between 1998 and 2002. It is during this time in their history that Celta were the most dominant and earned themselves a number of top 6 finishes and several European appearances. It was under Fernandez won their only major trophy till date – 2000 Uefa Intertoto Cup.
- Manuel Hermida Losada
More popularly known as “Hermidita” was a Spanish Striker that used to play for Celta de Vigo in the late 40’s and early 50’s. He played a total of 170 games for Celta and scoring 110 goals in all competitions. Hermidita still holds the record for scoring the most league goals for Celta with 105.
- Manuel Fernández Fernández
More popularly known as “Pahino” was a Spanish international that spend a total of 5 seasons at Celta de Vigo making over a 100 appearances for them and scoring a total of 59 goals. He is only player to have won the Pichichi award whilst playing for Celta. He would win the Pichichi once again but this time while playing for Real Madrid.
- Pablo Oscar Cavallero Rodríguez
Or simply Pablo Cavallero was a Argentine international that spend a total of 4 seasons at Celta Vigo making over a 120 appearances for the club. He was the second player after Santiago Canizares to have won the Ricardo Zamora Trophy (award given to the La Liga goalkeeper to have the best goals to games ratio) while being a Celta Vigo player (2002/03).
- José Manuel Pinto Colorado
Pinto was a Spanish footballer that spend a total of 10 seasons at Celta de Vigo between 1998 and 2008 making over 200 appearances for the Os Celestes. In 2005/06 he became the third and last Celta player till date to have won the Ricardo Zamora award. He made the switch to Spanish giants Barcelona in 2008 and went on to win over 16 major titles in his career.
- Vladimir Gudelj
Vladimir Gudelj was a Bosnian footballer who spend a total of 8 seasons with Celta starting from 1991 and left the club as a legend in 1999 . He made over 230 appearances for Celta scoring 95 goals and is among the top 5 goal scorers in Celta de Vigo history. He won the Segunda division Pichichi trophy in 1991/92 scoring an incredible 27 goals in his debut season with the club.
- Aleksandr Vladimirovich Mostovoi
Mostovoi is widely regarded as one of the best ever players to have played for Celta Vigo. Nicknamed “El Zar” the Russian international joined Celta in 1996 and spend a total of 8 seasons with the club making nearly 300 appearances for them in all competitions and scoring 73 goals for them. He was instrumental in Celta’s golden run in late 90’s and 2000’s and played a big part in their 2000 Intertoto win.
Celta Vigo Jersey & Crest
Celta’s original team kit was composed of red Shirt, blue socks and black shorts. The team’s home kit was later changed to sky blue shirt and white shorts to emulate the Galician flag.
Like most Galician clubs Celta’s crest consists of the Cross of Saint James. On top of the cross there lies a shield which has two C’s written in it to mean Club Celta. Celta like many Spanish clubs uses the royal crown symbol in their crest which entitles them to use Real in their name.
Estadio Municipal de Balaidos
As already mentioned Celta de Vigo play their home games at the Balaidos Municipal stadium in Vigo, Galacia, Spain since 1928 and it has a seating capacity of 31,800. The first game played at the stadium was between Celta de Vigo and Basque side Real Union. The home side went on to win the game 7-0.
- Biggest win – (10-1) versus Gimnastic Tarragona in 1949/50.
- Most number of La Liga goals by a Celta player – Hermidita (105)
- Most number of La Liga appearances – Aleksandr Mostovoi (235)
- Best La Liga finish – 4th place (1947/48 and 2002/03)
- Biggest away win – (0-5) vs Hercules in 1941.
- Highest number of points in a single La Liga season – 64 points (1998/99 and 2002/03)
- Costliest transfer buy – Henrique Guedes da Silva (Catanha) in 2000 from Malaga FC for 13.5€ million
- Highest transfer fee received – 14€ million for Claude Makelele to Real Madrid.
- Most number of goals scored in a single season – 69 (1998/99)
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