SD Eibar may have the smallest ground in La Liga (just over 7000 capacity), but that has done little to hold the club back.
After earning promotion to Spain’s top flight at the end of the 2013/14 season, many predicted (us included) that Eibar’s stint in La Liga would be a brief one.
However, five years later, and the minnows from the Basque country are preparing for yet another top-flight campaign and a firm member of the La Liga establishment.
The club was founded in November 1940 from a merger of Deportivo Gallo and Unión Deportiva Eibarresa but it took until the 1943/44 season for the club to find its feet and become more of a professional outfit.
It took until 1950 before the club started to come to the attention of the mainstream with promotion to the Tercera División (Spain’s fourth tier now but up until 1977 it was the third tier).
From 1988 to 2014, the club yo-yoed between the Segunda division and Segunda B before finally earning back to back promotions to the top-flight for the first time in their history.
Who is the current manager?
Heading into the new season, José Luis Mendilibar remains in charge of Eibar as he has done so since first taking the reins in 2015 for a second time replacing the hugely successful Gaizka Garitano.
Mendilibar has plenty of credentials of his own having guided Eibar twice into the top ten in La Liga as well having had previous spells with the likes of Athletic Bilbao, Levante and Osasuna.
Notable players past and present
The club is perhaps most famous for having helped launch the career of Xabi Alonso during a loan spell during the 2000/01 season.
Brazilian forward Charles looks set to be the main man once again for Eibar in attack.
The 35-year-old netted 14-times in the league last season – 7 more than fellow attacker Sergi Enrich.
Eibar somewhat resemble Bournemouth in the English Premier League as a relatively small continuously punching above their weight.
However, with a largely stable team amd a finish no lower than 14th in the last four seasons, another season of consolidation looks the way to go with the clubs atmospheric Ipurua Municipal Stadium once again proving a stumbling block for some of Spain’s bigger names.
Expect another solid campaign with a predicated 13th place finish.
Unlucky for some – not Eibar.