A handful of American soccer and sports stars have been celebrating overnight.
Real Mallorca beat Deportivo La Coruna 3-0 at home on Sunday, as they fought back from a 2-0 first leg deficit to win the Segunda division playoffs and seal a return to La Liga after a seven-year absence.
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The owner of the Phoenix Suns, Robert Sarver, and his ownership partner Andrew Kolhberg, lead the American group that bought Mallorca, from Spain’s Balearic Islands, in 2016 for around $22.7 million.
NBA legend Steve Nash, plus former USMNT stars Stuart Holden and Kyle Martino (one of our PL on NBC analysts) also own a minority stake in the club, while Martino’s fellow NBC analyst Graeme Le Saux is also a team consultant.
Rafael Nadal, a Mallorca native, was at the second leg to witness the incredible comeback, as the goal which sent them to La Liga arrived in the 82nd minute from Abdon Prats as Mallorca led 1-0 at half time. A huge pitch invasion at the Estadi de San Moix then capped off a a memorable season as Mallorca finished fifth in Spain’s second tier, one place ahead of Deportivo who just snuck into the playoffs.
Martino revealed his delight in seeing Mallorca complete back-to-back promotions to get back to the top-flight of Spanish soccer.
“Last night was one of the greatest in my short life in football. Over past few years a truly great club fought odds to reach top tier of Spanish football once again. Humbled and grateful to be part of this club. Thank you to our incredible fans, honored to be one of you.”
Mallorca will now be heading to the Nou Camp and the Santiago Bernabeu next season to take on Barcelona and Real Madrid, as their incredible rise through the leagues will be rewarded by taking on the likes of Lionel Messi and Co. in 2019-20.
Look out for Martino, GLS, Nash and Holden in the directors box at the Nou Camp next season.