La Liga will be returning in August, and the 20 teams are beginning to go through their pre-season plans for July. Much has been written about the top teams in La Liga, but what about the three teams that have been promoted for the upcoming season? The main goal for any promoted team is to stay up and avoid relegation, but some tend to exceed expectations.
Last season, the three teams that were relegated were Granada, Levante, and Alaves. These three teams will be replaced by three clubs from the Segunda Division. Mentioned below are the three teams and what they accomplished last season to make it to the top tier of Spanish football.
#1 UD Almeria - La Liga Segunda Division champions
UD Almeria won the Segunda Division in the 2021-2022 season to get promoted to La Liga. They finished ahead of Real Valladolid on goal difference after both teams finished with 81 points. Almeria had the best defensive record in the league, conceding 35 goals, while they scored the second-highest number of goals in the league with 68. Almeria are managed by former Spanish footballer Rubi.
Almeria were relegated in 2015, and after seven seasons in the second tier of Spanish football, they are now back in La Liga. Nigerian striker Umar Sadiq was their highest goalscorer, scoring 18 goals during the season. Sadiq also managed the most assists (9). Almeria's highest finish in Spain's top flight came during the 2007-2008 season when they finished eighth in La Liga.
#2 Real Valladolid - The club owned by Ronaldo
Real Valladolid is owned by Ronaldo Nazario. The Brazilian legend bought a controlling stake in the club, but they were relegated in 2021. They spent last season in the Segunda Division. After heavy investment in the club, they finished second in the league on goal difference. They will be back in La Liga for the upcoming season. Pacheta is their manager.
Israeli forward Shon Weissman was their top scorer with 20 goals, and veteran Roque Mesa provided the most assists (7). Valladolid scored the most goals in the league at 71. The club's highest finish in the top tier came during the 1962-1963 season when they finished fourth in the league. Ronaldo will most likely invest in the squad and Valladolid should stay up in the upcoming season.
#3 Girona - Playoff winners
Girona finished sixth in the Segunda Division and made the playoffs on goal difference ahead of Oviedo. They beat Eibar over two legs to reach the final and beat Tenerife over two legs to get promoted to La Liga. The team is managed by former Spanish footballer Michel. Girona were relegated in 2019, and after three seasons of near misses in the playoffs, they are back in the first division.
Cristhian Stuani, a familiar face in Spain, was their top scorer last season with 22 goals. Samu Saiz provided the most assists (6). The club's highest finish in the top flight came during the 2017-2018 season when they finished 10th. Girona will be one of the favorites to go back down, considering they qualified via the playoffs, but football is an unpredictable sport, and anything can happen.