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Brazil legend and Real Valladolid owner Ronaldo celebrates team promotion to La Liga

Former Barcelona and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo is celebrating Valladolid’s immediate return to La Liga.

The team owned by the Brazil great, who also starred in Europe for PSV Eindhoven, Inter Milan and AC Milan between 1994 and 2008, secured their spot in the top flight of Spanish soccer after they beat Huesca 3-0 at home and Eibar lost 1-0 at last-placed Alcorcon.

Valladolid entered the final round in third place, behind Eibar and out of the two automatic spots for the first division.

Almeria, who were bought by Saudi Arabian Turki al-Sheikh in 2019, finished first after drawing 2-2 at Leganes and will return to the top tier for the first time since the 2014-2015 season.

Eibar still have a chance to be promoted, but will have to fight for the final spot in the playoffs.

Las Palmas, who finished in fourth place after winning 1-0 at Sporting Gijon, also made it to the playoffs.

Fifth-placed Tenerife and sixth-placed Girona had already guaranteed their spots in the playoffs.

Ronaldo, a two-time World Cup winner, bought a 51 per cent stake in 2018 when Valladolid were 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.