Arsenio’s witches

Arsenio’s career was full of great days, disastrous afternoons, happiness, sadness and… witches. Three of the most striking events in the history of Deportivo occurred in the 90s with Zorro de Arteixo on the bench.

Riazor fire

June 9, 1991 there was no room for a pin in Riazor. Deportivo, who had not been in the First Division since 1972, played for promotion on the last day in an all or nothing with Murcia. The rojillos were leaders with two points ahead of the Coruña team, who were guaranteed to go up if they won the game by golaverage. Two minutes after the start, González Lecue had to stop the game before the smoke that came out of the roof of the Preference stands. The smoke turned to fire and the fans had to go down to the grass to get to safety. Almost an hour later the meeting resumed. In the second half, two goals from Stojadinovic gave the victory (2-0) which meant Depor’s return to the First Division. On the bench, the same coach who had achieved the last promotion in 1971: Arsenio Iglesias. The witches, in the form of flames, were auspicious this time.

Djukic’s penalty

May 14, 1994 It is possibly the most remembered date in the history of Deportivo. It was not the League title, nor the Cup, nor a magical night of the Champions League, nor a promotion. It was the day the League flew from the Riazor in the cruelest way. Those led by Arsenio Iglesias, leaders since matchday 14, were playing for the title at home against Valencia. The victory certified the League. The tie, if Barcelona won, having the golaverage against it, condemned it. With the time practically fulfilled Serer made a penalty on Nando and López Nieto did not hesitate. Barça had finished their match against Sevilla with a resounding 5-2 and the League was decided from eleven metres. Bebeto had stopped throwing them due to a previous failure and the person in charge of throwing it, Donato, had been replaced. Djukic took responsibility. The Serbian swelled his chest from the air he lacked and made him nervous and loose pitch was stopped by González. Goodbye to the League, goodbye to glory, goodbye to the well-deserved finishing touch that Superdepor deserved. That day, not even the Riazor garlic could with the witches.

The deluge in the 1995 Cup

only one year laters the witches crossed into Arsenio’s life again, this time to smile at him. It was in the King’s Cup final, which in a new whim of fate, one more, faced Deportivo with Valencia, the team that deprived them of the League title. The match was played on June 24, 1995, but it was not until three days later when José Ramón raised the Cup to heaven. A huge Deluge flooded the Santiago Bernabéu, the changing rooms and all the basements of the Madrid stadium. Garcia Aranda decreed the suspension of the game, which had ten minutes left, with 1-1 on the scoreboard after goals from Manjarín and Mijatovic. On Tuesday the 27th it resumed and it took Superdepor three minutes to win the first title in the club’s history. A touched cross from Manjarín surpassed the Che defense and Alfredo Santaelena, with his 1.69, beat Zubizarreta with a header in the 83rd minute. Then came the celebration. Zorro de Arteixo’s embrace with Claudio Barragán, his chat with the King and the explosion of the Coruña fans. It was Deportivo’s first title and Arsenio’s last game on the blue and white bench and the witches, as expected, did not want to miss it.

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