La Liga, Copa del Rey
Deportivo Alavés, S.A.D.
Babazorros El Glorioso (The glorious one)
Alfonso Fernández de Trocóniz
Segunda División, 1st (promoted)
Deportivo Alavés, S.A.D. [deporˈtiβo alaˈβes]; (Sporting Alavés), usually abbreviated to Alavés, is a Spanish football club based in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Álava, in the autonomous community of the Basque Country. Founded in 1921 it plays in La Liga, holding home matches at the 19,800-seater Estadio Mendizorrotza.
Its biggest success was in 2001 when, in the year of its debut in European competition, it was one of the finalists in the 2001 UEFA Cup Final against Liverpool, being defeated 5–4 by golden goal.
The team's home kit is blue and white-striped shirt, blue shorts and white socks.
Founded in 1921, Alavés first reached La Liga eight years later, a stint which would last three years. In the 1950s the club would reach Primera División again for a two-year spell.
After years of seriously facing disappearance which lasted well into the 1990s, the club finally achieved a Segunda División promotion in 1994–95 after two consecutive years winning their group in Segunda División B – created as the new third level in 1977 – but failing in the promotion play-offs.
After winning the Segunda División in 1997–98, Alavés returned to the top level after a 42-year hiatus. Following their return season in which they escaped relegation by a single point, they achieved two wins against Barcelona in the following campaign and would qualify for the UEFA Cup for the first time upon finishing sixth (to date, their highest-ever placing, coming just 12 years after their lowest-ever: eighth in their group in the fourth level).
As well as concluding the domestic campaign in 10th position, in 2000–01 the Basque club reached the final of the UEFA Cup after beating Italians Internazionale, fellow Spaniards Rayo Vallecano and Germans Kaiserslautern (in a crushing 9-2 aggregate victory). The final ended in a 4–5 loss against England's Liverpool, Alavés losing to an 'own-golden goal' after taking the game to extra time. The match also featured two red cards and two disallowed goals in extra time in addition to the 9 goals which did count, and has been described by some observers as one of the greatest showpiece games in the competition's history.
Alavés ended 2001–02 in seventh and qualified for the UEFA Cup for a second time, although the European campaign of 2002–03 was far less successful than two years earlier, with an opening win over Ankaragücü followed by a defeat to another Turkish Süper Lig side, Beşiktaş. On the 26 January 2003, the club celebrated their 100th win in La Liga after defeating Valladolid 3–1.
Although Alavés were relegated after 2002–03, they regained top flight status two years later. In this time, Alavés was bought by Ukrainian-American businessman Dmitry Pietrman, and several clashes followed with the club's coaches, players and fans alike. The top-division return only lasted one season as the club went through three head coaches and finished in 18th position, one point from safety. Piterman departed in 2007, leaving the club deep in debt after his tenure; after two years of battling against relegation to the third level, Alavés eventually succumbed in 2008–09.
A subsequent black period in Segunda División B lasted four years until Alavés was bought by José Antonio Querejeta and were promoted again to the second division in 2013 as overall champions of the third tier, providing an opportunity to sort out its economic difficulties. Three years later, on 29 May 2016, Alavés was promoted to La Liga as second tier champions after beating Numancia 2–0 to overtake Leganés on the final day.
On 10 September 2016, Alavés got their first win of their return season in La Liga by defeating 2–1 defending La Liga champions Barcelona. On 7 February 2017, Alavés qualified for the 2017 Copa del Rey Final after eliminating Celta Vigo in the semifinals of the competition; this was the first time in their history that the club had qualified for the final of the national cup, their previous best being the semifinals in 1998 and 2004. Their opponents in the final would be Barcelona, and coincidentally the two clubs met in the league directly after their cup semifinals; the Catalan club inflicted a 6-0 defeat on Alavés in their own Mendizorrotza stadium, exacting revenge for the result earlier in the season.
Current squadAs of 1 February 2017
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
In 2007, Alavés operated a team in the USL First Division in the United States called the California Victory. The team played at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, California, and wore the Alavés colors. However, Alavés, under new ownership, pulled its support for the club later that year, after which the Victory folded.