Champions, forgotten historical figures… This is what those promoted to the major leagues are like

The map of the major European Leagues begins to clear. With the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga, the Italian Serie A and the French Ligue 1 already finished, the new members are taking position in their new seats.

And looking ahead to the 2024-25 season, the clubs promoted to the big leagues have the pedigree of having been league champions like Leicester, Auxerre or St-Étienne, from European competitions such as Ipswich Town or Parma. There are also outfits like the Como that they had for 21 years! outside of First Division and others like Holstein Kiel who will debut in the elite, in this case in the Bundesliga. There is everything.

Premier League: Leicester, Ipswich Town y Southampton

Two of the three teams that were relegated to the Championship in 2023 have returned to the Premier in 2024. The Leicesterwho changed the history of football by winning the English League in 2016, returned a year later with Enzo Maresca as coach and Jamie Vardy retiring scoring 18 key goals to be Second Division champions.

Along with them, an Ipswich Town that had been there for 22 years is promoted to the Premier! outside the elite. UEFA champions in 1981 with Bobby Robson, McKenna’s team has gone from League One (Third) to the Premier in one year. They will be accompanied by a Southampton that has also lived a single year in hell. The ‘Saints’ defeated Leeds (0-1) at Wembley and went up to First Division. They are back.

Serie A: Como, Parma and Venezia

If Maresca has triumphed with Leicester, another former midfielder has done so in ‘calcio’. Cesc Fàbregas has taken Como to Serie A…21 years later! The team owned by SENT Entertainment, which has shareholders such as Thierry Henry and which has illustrious players such as Cutrone on the pitch, moves up to First Division alongside Parma.

UEFA champion in 1995 and 1999 with top players like Buffon, Asprilla, Chiesa, Verón… the ‘Crociati’ team has returned to Serie A two seasons later after suffering enormous financial problems and with the Spanish Adrián Bernabé as star. Along with Como and Parma, the Venezia, which a year after its relegation returned to Primera after winning the playoff. First they knocked down Palermo in the semifinals and then Cremonese in the final (1-0) with the Finnish Pohjanpalo as the scorer (18 goals in total). The iconic Pier Luigi Penzo, with its stands attached to the canals, returns to the elite.

Bundesliga: St Pauli y Holstein Kiel

He St Pauli of Hamburg, one of the most alternative clubs in Europe and a global phenomenon for its social demands, returns to the Bundesliga 12 years later. The ‘Pirates’ took first place in a German Second Division full of illustrious players (Schalke 04, Kaiserslautern, Hertha, Hamburg…). Next to them climbed a Holstein Kiel that made history.

For the first time in its 123 years, the team from the northern German city bathed by the Baltic Sea managed to climb to the Bundesliga. After eliminating Bayern and reaching the semi-finals of the DFB Pokal in 2021, Kiel will enjoy the First Division. They will do it together with Bochum, who escaped promotion by defeating Fortuna Dusseldorf on penalties in a crazy tie: they lost 0-3 at home… and won 0-3 away!

Ligue 1: Auxerre, Angers and St-Étienne

Auxerre is a French classic. In 1996 he was proclaimed champion of Ligue 1 and in 2010-11, without going any further, he played in the Champions League. However, since then they have been in the elevator between First and Second. Last year they had to go down… and this time they had to go up to the elite of French football.

The same as a Angers which has followed the same path returning to Ligue 1 a season after its relegation. Together with them ascended the historic St-Étienne. Winner of 10 French Leagues (only PSG, with 12, has more) and finalist of the European Cup in 1976, ‘Les Verts’ fell to Ligue 2 in 2022 18 years later. After two seasons of penance, St-Étienne has returned to First Division after beating Metz, sixteenth in the last Ligue 1, in the promotion with a goal in extra time in the 116th minute! Crazy.


Davide Piano

An experienced journalist with an insatiable curiosity for global affairs on newshubpro

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