LaLiga matches will be back to Mediterranean soil next season. Real Mallorca gained the promotion after beating Deportivo La Coruña 3-0 in the second leg of the Liga 123 playoff tie.
After descending to the Spanish football third tier, The Vermilions have clinched their promotion two years in a row, a remarkable feat most recently achieved by Eibar in 2014. This resurrection took 749 days and as their sporting director - the Swiss Maheta Molango- frames it: "it was a very quick but bumpy road".
Molango arrived at Mallorca in January 2016 with the mission to reverse the bad results and lead a brand new sporting project, with the financial backing of a group of investors such as Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, the former professional tennis player Andy Kohlberg and retired NBA star Steve Nash. Nonetheless, the club was relegated to Segunda B in June 2017.
At that point Molango decided to take drastic measures keeping only five players of that squad: "A deep reflection was needed at the time. Our success is not based on individuality but on team effort. We are going to continue with the same mindset and values which have brought us here", he emphasizes.
The return to the Promised Land
Mallorca comes back to the Spanish football top flight after a six-year absence with an experienced squad led by Salva Sevilla, the Croatian Budimir and the Spaniard Abdón Prats Bastidas, who scored the winning goal with ten minutes to go in the match, causing Son Moix's elation including its most famous onlooker, tennis legend Rafael Nadal.
The benefits for Mallorca will not only be sports related but also financial. From the €6-€8 million a club receives in the Liga 123, Mallorca could obtain an estimated sum of €48 million for broadcasting rights and advertising. Not to mention the impact on the island's tourism sector since hotels, bars and restaurants will all benefit from the club's newly clinched promotion.