AD Almería was a team that played in La Liga between 1979–81, but disappeared in 1982, and was arguably UD Almería's predecessor. In 1989, a club named Almería Club de Fútbol was born, but in 2001 was renamed Unión Deportiva Almería. After playing one season in the second division, it was relegated to the third and the fourth divisions.
After spending several seasons in the second level, Almería side was first promoted to the top flight after finishing runner-up in the 2006–07 season. After some outstanding performances, the team achieved a final 8th league place in 2007–08. At the club's helm was coach Unai Emery, as strikerÁlvaro Negredo finished team topscorer with 13 goals.
In 2010–11, Almería reached the semifinals of the Copa del Rey for the first time ever. In the league, however, the club was finally relegated after a four-year spell in the top flight; in November 2010, coach Juan Manuel Lillo was fired after a 0–8 home loss against FC Barcelona (precisely the team that ousted the Andalusians in the domestic cup's last-four, with the same score, but on aggregate), and his successor José Luis Oltra met the same fate, in April 2011.