MADRID (AP) — Former Brazil striker Ronaldo celebrated Valladolid’s return to the first division in Spain on Sunday.
The team owned by the Brazil great secured its spot in the top flight after it beat Huesca 3-0 at home and Eibar lost 1-0 at last-place Alcorcón.
Valladolid entered the final round in third place, behind Eibar and out of the two automatic spots for the first division.
Almería, which was bought by Saudi Arabian Turki al-Sheikh in 2019, finished first after drawing 2-2 at Leganés and will return to the top tier for the first time since the 2014-2015 season.
Eibar still has a chance to be promoted, but it will have to fight for the final spot in the playoffs.
Las Palmas, which finished in fourth place after winning 1-0 at Sporting Gijon, also made it to the playoffs. Fifth-place Tenerife and sixth-place Girona had already guaranteed their spots in the playoffs.
Ronaldo, a two-time World Cup winner and a former Real Madrid and Barcelona striker, bought a 51% stake in 2018 when Valladolid was still in the first division.
“It was a complicated season, with a pandemic and all,” Ronaldo told Spanish media. “This is incredible. We worked hard and we fought, and even though we suffered until the last minute, we achieved the goal of returning to the first division.”
Ronaldo, who was in France watching the Champions League final on Saturday, celebrated with his players on the field after the match in Valladolid on Sunday.
“It's a great triumph by this squad, the coaching staff and the fans,” Ronaldo said. “We have to enjoy it. We are back where we deserve to be.”
Before the 2018-19 season, Valladolid had played four straight seasons in the second division.
Eibar, which needed a win to automatically gain promotion without depending on other results, had played seven straight seasons in the top flight before being relegated last season. It conceded against Alcorcón in stoppage time.
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Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press