La Liga: The incredible story of new boys Leganes
The city has a population of roughly 186,000, a street named after rock group AC/DC, one of the biggest shopping centres in Europe and is twinned with Bethlehem. But perhaps Leganes’ biggest claim to fame is now their football team, who are about to compete in La Liga for the first time in the club’s 88-year history.
So how did CD Leganes – with a stadium capacity rivalling that of Conference North side Gloucester City – go from the regionalised third-tier of Spanish football to the top-flight in just three seasons?
Former Alicante manager Asier Garitano took over at Estadio Municipal de Butarque in June 2013, and since then Leganes haven’t looked back.
Garitano’s first season in charge saw the Pepineros (that’s Cucumber Growers) win promotion to the Segunda Divison for the first time since 2004, and after a mid-table finish in the 2014-15 campaign, Leganes finished in second-place last year, meaning they’d be competing in the top-tier for the first time.
And if last season’s performance is anything to go by, they won’t be pushovers in their debut La Liga campaign.
Entertaining, solid and set for more success
Leganes were joint top-scorers in the Segunda Divison with 59 goals, and they weren’t reliant on one player going forward – with six players scoring five or more throughout the course of the season.
They also boasted one of the best defences in the league last time out, conceding just 34 goals, keeping an incredible 20 clean sheets in the process.
So far this summer Leganes have added seven players to their roster, five of which have arrived on season-long loans, and the acquisition of 31-year-old Carl Medjani from Levante suggests the La Liga new boys could be set for another steady campaign at the back.
Leganes kick-off their new campaign against last season’s high-fliers Celta Vigo.
And while they’re currently a huge 19/4 to win away to Eduardo Berizzo’s men, Leganes’ fans will certainly be confident that their team can pull of a surprise upset on the opening weekend of what will be a thrilling campaign for the boys in blue and white.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.