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Six of the Best: CD Tenerife

CD Tenerife were once a strong side in La Liga, but now dwell in the doldrums of the Spanish third tier. Under the guidance of current Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes, the Chicharreros made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in the 1996-97 season, beating the likes of Feyenoord and Lazio along the way.

But, recent seasons have not been so fruitful at the Helidoro Rodriguez Lopez. A seven-year spell in the Segunda Division came to an end in 2009 with promotion but the club were relegated from La Liga after just one season in the top flight.

The 2010-11 season saw the club go into free fall. Three coaching changes saw the team suffer relegation to the third-tier of Spanish football for the first time in 24 years.

Some excellent footballers over the 1990’s and 2000’s donned the blue and white of Tenerife before the club lost its way; here are six of the best.

Fernando Redondo (1990 – 1994)

Considered one of the finest players to grace La Liga, Redondo made over 100 league appearances for Tenerife during the early 1990s. The South American was a key player for the side and under manager Jorge Valdano foiled Real Madrid on the final day of the season on two separate occasions, gifting the league title to their arch rivals Barcelona.

Valdano was appointed manager of Real Madrid in 1994 and took Redondo with him to the Santiago Bernabeu where he spent six industrious years. He won the Champions League in 1998 and again in 2000 when he will be remembered for a magnificent quarter-final second leg performance against Manchester United, in which Madrid won 3-2.

Jose Del Solar (1992 – 1995)

The Peruvian enforcer arguably spent the best years of his career at Tenerife, forging an effective midfield partnership with Fernando Redondo. He helped the club qualify for the UEFA Cup for the first time in their history in 1993 where they reached the last 16 before bowing out 4-2 on aggregate to Juventus.

Spells at seven different clubs around Europe followed before he stepped into management in Argentina with Colon Sante Fe. He has since went on to coach Peru and is revered in his homeland for a successful career on and off the pitch.

 Meho Kodro (1996 – 1999)

Bosnian striker Meho Kodro joined Tenerife in 1996 after spending just one season at Barcelona. He spent three campaigns at the Helidoro and will be best remembered for the two goals he netted for the club en-route to the UEFA Cup semi finals during 1996-97.

He enjoyed a prolific spell at Real Sociedad before joining Barcelona, netting 73 goals in 129 league matches but failed to recreate this with only 18 goals in 72 league appearances for Tenerife. After the club’s relegation season in 1999, he left for Deportivo Alaves.

Roy Makaay (1997 – 1999)

One of the most feared strikers in Europe on his day and a favourite in the “first goalscorer” market with free bets punters looking for a “sure thing”, fans will note his spell in the Canary Islands for two years in the late 1990’s before prolific spells at Deportivo La Coruna and Bayern Munich.

After four seasons in Holland with Vitesse, Dutch international Makaay stepped up a level and played in La Liga with Tenerife. Seven goals in his first season helped the club avoid relegation but even 14 strikes in 36 appearances during the 1998-99 campaign could not prevent the club slipping into the Segunda Division.

Juan Antonio Pizzi (1991 – 1993, 1994 – 1996)

The Argentina-born Spain international enjoyed two prolific spells at Tenerife during the early and mid-1990s. He scored 30 goals in 68 league matches during his first two seasons, which helped the club qualify for the UEFA Cup in 1993.

A disappointing season at Valencia followed but he returned to the Helidoro in 1994 where he struck 46 goals in 73 league appearances. In the 1995-96 campaign he scored 31 in 41 matches, winning him the Pichichi Trophy in Spain for being the top goal scorer and also the European Golden Boot. He then joined Barcelona but found it difficult to break into the side ahead of Ronaldo and Sonny Anderson.

Luis Garcia (2000  – 2001)

Former Liverpool attacker Luis Garcia played for Tenerife under then-manager Rafa Benitez, and was part of the team that won promotion to La Liga in 2001.

Garcia had spent relatively quiet spells at Valladolid and Toledo in previous seasons but exploded in the Canaries. He scored 16 goals in 41 league matches before moving on to Atletico Madrid and then returning to Barcelona before linking up again with Benitez via a £2 million switch to Anfield in 2004.

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About Gareth McKnight
I am an enthusiastic and dedicated freelance football writer, with a passion for the beautiful game. I am a lifelong Spurs fan, and ninetyminutesonline is my thoughts on the current affairs of world football.

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