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Alaves is considered the least successful Basque Country club, being outshined by local rivals Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad. El Glorioso will be celebrating its 100th birthday this season, being founded in 1921. The club is still looking to write its most memorable history, with the team not having won any major trophies except for 4 Segunda Division titles. Their most significant achievements are a 2001 UEFA Cup Final vs. Liverpool that they lost to a golden goal and the more recent 2017 Copa Del Rey Final vs. Barcelona, which again saw them on the runner-up side of the trophy.
The club is working to solidify its position in La Liga. They are an average bottom half of the table side who is still threatened by relegation. Alaves is looking to change that and become a consistent top-flight team.
Javi Moreno from Barcelona B on a free transfer in 1997 – The Spanish striker was training with Barcelona's youth academy but was dubbed unequipped ever to reach the senior squad of the Catalans. After a goalless loan spell with Cordoba Moreno was released from Barca and signed a contract with Alaves. The three years spent with the Basque side were one of the best of his career when he managed to find the net 30 times in 82 matches. He was also a part of the squad that reached the UEFA Cup final. At the time, serious transfer rumors were linking Moreno with several European clubs, but in the end, it was Milan that got his signature. Setting the club's transfer record, the Rossoneri paid £16 Million for Moreno, who never settled in Serie A.
Cosmin Contra from Dinamo București for £800,000 in 1999 – Playing for various homeland clubs, Contra made his first move abroad with Deportivo Alaves. He started playing for The Glorious ones in 1999 and rose to prominence with them. Filling the role of a right-back or more rarely midfielder, Contra alongside Moreno was one of the players responsible for reaching the UEFA Cup final. He shared a pretty similar fate with Moreno as AC Milan also bought him in the summer of 2001 for £7 Million. Both players found it hard to play in Italy and later transferred to Atletico Madrid once again together.
Guillermo Maripian from Universidad Católica for £2.13 Million in 2017 – Center-back Guillermo Maripian started his career in his homeland Chile. He began playing with Universidad Católica at the age of 8 in 2002 and stayed in the club until 2017. It was only in 2015 when he established himself as a regular starter and quickly attracted attention from overseas. After a successful 2017 Copa del Rey campaign, Alaves could afford to spend £2.13 Million for the defender, so Universidad Católica let Maripian ink his contract with the La Liga side. For Alaves, the Chilean made 48 appearances and was credited with two goals and two assists before continuing his career with Monaco in 2019. The Monegasques paid £18 Million to acquire the center-back, thus breaking the record set by Moreno's transfer.
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