With the promotion playoffs now completed, after the group winners earned automatic promotion, we now know the clubs who’ll arrive in LaLiga SmartBank for the 2022/23 season.
Four new teams are coming up to Spanish football’s second division. Whether because they won a promotion playoff or because they topped their group, these are the four clubs who’ll meet each other at LaLiga SmartBank level next season.
It’s time to get to know Real Racing Club, FC Andorra, Albacete Balompié and Villarreal ‘B’.
Real Racing Club
Real Racing Club de Santander are one of the mythical Spanish teams and this club with more than 100 years of history will return to LaLiga SmartBank, after last playing at this level in the 2019/20 campaign.
They’re back thanks to a good run of form that proved key to promotion. A solid winning streak allowed them to reach 82 points in the standings and overtake RC Deportivo, thereby achieving direct promotion without the need to face any rivals in a promotion playoff.
In addition, they were proclaimed champions of the category after beating FC Andorra in the so-called Final of the Champions (3-0).
In this past season, two players were particularly key to achieving the good results. Cedric Omoigui, with 14 goals scored across all the matches played, was one, while Pablo Torre, with 10 goals scored for the Cantabrian team, was another.
Pablo Torre is a talented youngster who has played with the Spanish national team at U19 level and now says goodbye to Real Racing Club at a time of celebration, thanks to the promotion.
He is departing to move to FC Barcelona, a team he’ll join on July 1st with a job well done and having been one of the fundamental pieces of the team from Santander.
FC Andorra will play in the second division for the first time in the club’s history. The team was founded in 1942 and has been owned by Gerard Piqué since 2018.
It will be the first club from Andorra to play at this level, with Eder Sarabia as coach of the squad -son of Manu Sarabia, former Athletic Club legend of the 80s, and recently assistant coach of Quique Setién at Real Betis and FC Barcelona-.
They have reached the second tier only three years after playing in the Primera Catalana regional division. It has been a rapid rise to LaLiga SmartBank for a team with confidence and ambition, as has been demonstrated throughout this past season.
Their group was very evenly matched during the 38 matchdays, with FC Andorra managing to climb into first place with 71 points, more than the 67 of their pursuers Albacete Balompié and Villarreal 'B'.
With Marc Fernández and Carlitos as top scorers, with 11 and 10 goals respectively during the season, LaLiga SmartBank football is now coming to the National Stadium of Andorra in the 2022/23 season.
In their promotion playoff, Albacete Balompié played away from home and faced an RC Deportivo side that had the backing of a city full of fans in blue and white jerseys.
Although the locals from A Coruña packed out Riazor, Albacete Balompié drew on the club’s history and experience to win 2-1 and to book a ticket to LaLiga SmartBank for the 2022/23 season.
With goals from Alberto Jiménez in the 83rd minute and Jordi Sánchez in the 115th minute, the side from Castilla-La Mancha secured qualification.
This is how Albacete Balompié clinched a return to LaLiga SmartBank after just one season away, having played in the second tier in 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018.
They’re back, with Rubén de la Barrera as one of the most important pieces of the project. He is a young coach who already knows what it is like to celebrate a promotion: the Galician managed to take Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa up in 2017 and now he has done it again, with the Manchegans returning after their comeback victory at Riazor.
The B team of Villarreal CF are the other new outfit to make it to LaLiga SmartBank. They’ll be the only B team in the second tier during the 2022/23 season, after beating Gimnàstic de Tarragona and UD Logroñés during the promotion playoffs and after finishing second in the standings of Primera RFEF Group 2, with 67 points obtained across the 38 matchdays of the campaign.
Villarreal CF’s B team will play at this level for the first time and they do so with several standout players, in particular Juan Carlos Arana, with 15 goals scored during the season, and Nicolas Jackson.
Jackson managed to lead the Yellow Submarine to LaLiga SmartBank with his two goals against Gimnàstic in the playoff match at Balaídos. That brace means this B team will now be able to test themselves next season against historic Spanish clubs such as Real Zaragoza or Real Oviedo, among others.