Celta Vigo was founded in 1923 as a result of an idea by sports writer Manuel de Castro, who proposed a merger between local clubs Vigo Sporting and Real Fortuna. In spite of reaching La Primera in 1937, the Civil War delayed Celta’s participation until the 1939-40 season, after which they remained in the top flight for two decades with the exception of the 1944-45 campaign.
Following relegation in 1959, a 10-year spell in La Segunda ensued until the end of the 1960s brought promotion along with qualification for the recently-inaugurated UEFA Cup. A dramatic turnaround saw a drop into Spanish football's third tier in 1979, although Los Celestes were back in the top division just two years later.
The 1990s and the turn of the millennium saw the best results in the club’s history, a Copa del Rey final appearance in 1994 against Real Zaragoza and consolidation as a top-six club.
Celta suffered a spectacular blow in the 2003-04 season, when despite reaching the last 16 of the Champions League, the club was relegated after finishing second-to-bottom in La Liga. They returned at the first time of asking but were relegated once again and very nearly entered administration in 2007.
Since then it has often been a struggle simply to avoid returning to the third tier, until the appointment of Paco Herrera in 2010, who led them to the promotion play-offs in 2011 and promotion proper as Segunda Division runners up in 2012.
Luis Enrique and Eduardo Berizzo took it in turns to re-establish the Galicians in La Liga, with the latter also guiding them to a first-ever, Europa League semi-final in 2017.