Skip to main content

Posts

The A-Z guide to Rayo Vallecano (Addition edition): C is for Celta de Vigo, Part 2 (17th December, 2017)

Continuing from part 1 yesterday...

However, after just two first team opportunities [at Barcelona], and a Jorge Valdano-influenced move to Real Madrid resulted in two dull seasons at Real Madrid Castilla left Roberto in serious doubts. Racing Vilalbés, his boyhood club, would take him back in a heartbeat.

But it was Numancia, in the Segunda, who saved what could have become a forgotten career. It was in Soria where he showed his ability to dictate games. Even though he played just 12 league games, his quality was clear.

From 2006-08 he played with Las Palmas. That summer he had offers from different foreign teams, but his desire to stay in Spanish soccer led him to the Canary Island club. His passing and service to strikers was well remembered, especially his connection with Marcos Márquez.

Las Palmas never tabled a renewal offer, and out of the many offers he received the chance to return to his native Galicia enticed him the most, and Balaídos was graced with the pass-master from 2…
Recent posts

The A-Z guide to Rayo Vallecano (Addition edition): C is for Celta de Vigo, Part 1 (16th December, 2017)

Interestingly, Rayo's ultras, the Bukaneros chooses to side with Depor's Riazor Blues, rather than with Celta's Celtarras. And yet Celta is perhaps where we should look for inspiration, because of two signings that happened in the summer of 2011 - Michu and Roberto Trashorras.

Since I've already written about Michu before, I'm just going to put a link to the post - you can click here to read it. Nevertheless, without further ado....



Tic. Tic. Tic.

The beat of the metronome. Its sound is drowned by the cheering fans yet everyone sees it. And the man controlling the frequency feels it. Knows it. Understands it.

As the ball approaches him his eyes see the previous beat and his mind sees the next.

The ball arrives at his feet. For a split second - a second that is easily missed to the naked eye, every single player slows down. Time slows down. His eyes don't need to look around - the snapshots are firmly ingrained in his mind. He knows what to do.

And once he does, the …

The A-Z guide to Rayo Vallecano (Addition edition): B is for Barcelona (15th December, 2017)

There is a history of Barcelona rejects ending up on Rayo's doorstep. 

But it is history - the last time it happened was in 1997, when two Barcelona players - one young, one old - became Rayo legends...

Born in Asteasu, Gipuzkoa, Julen Lopetegui started his professional career at local Real Sociedad, where he was barred by legendary Luis Arconada. In 1985, he accepted an offer from Real Madrid, who immediately incorporated the 19-year-old to its B-team.

After a loan spell at Las Palmas (1988-89), Lopetegui returned, but could never dislodge another veteran, Francisco Buyo, only managing one La Liga appearance during two seasons, a 3-3 away draw against Atlético Madrid as Real was already crowned league champions. He subsequently signed with Logroñés, being instrumental as the modest Riojan club consistently managed to retain its top flight status.

Lopetegui's stellar performances at Logroñés earned him his sole cap with Spain, coming on as a substitute for Andoni Zubizarreta fo…

The A-Z guide to Rayo Vallecano (Addition edition): A is for Alcorcón (14th December, 2017)

Alcorcón is one of Rayo's most underrated shop windows - and the players who've signed for Rayo aren't highly heralded but quietly significant.

So here it is - a run down of players who've signed for Rayo from Alcorcón.

Carlos de la Vega is one of them. After emerging through Rayo Vallecano's youth system, the right-back went on to play with amateur sides Alcalá and Alcorcón, also from his hometown of Madrid, until well into his 20's.

He did not have his first taste of full professional football until the 2008-09 season (he had only played one match with Rayo's first team in 2002-03's La Liga, two minutes) when, after returning to Rayo in the previous year, he was fairly used as the club easily retained its Segunda status.

In late December 2009, de la Vega was loaned to another side in the second level, Huesca, until the end of the season. In July 2012, after more than one year out of football, the 32-year-old signed for two seasons with Leganés in the S…

A new project! The Rayo Vallecano A-Z guide (13th December, 2017)

I used to be a Barcelona fan, and switched to Rayo in 2013. However, it was an entire year before I became a "proper" Rayo fan. It took time to learn about the various intricacies of this fascinating club. Information was difficult to obtain, and the poorest side in La Liga were also the least heard of side.

We live in this information age, where a Google search is the sole obstacle to knowledge, where everyone supposedly knows everything, where Messi vs Cristiano debates rule Twitter - and yet a search for Rayo Vallecano yields nothing more than a Wikipedia page and a Twitter feed.

Nothing about the history of a historic club, the politics of a left-wing club, and the pride of a neighborhood club. This blog has always tried to change that, without any click-bait - which is admittedly an impossible task. But Google search rankings don't define anything, and this new project isn't going to change much in, well, any regard.

However, it might help someone learn a bit mo…

Ismael Chico - the hard-working face of a club representing a hard-working town (12th December, 2017)

Sometimes a blog entry becomes less about the subject matter and how it came about.

I was going to publish this piece a week ago, and it started it like this:

"This weekend, Rayo Vallecano will face Córdoba, coached by Juan Merino. The former center-back, and Real Betis and Recreativo legend, was born in La Línea de la Concepción, in Andalusia, and is one of its most famous sons.

But there is another, lesser known, face of the city. He is no Betis legend, or even a Recreativo one. Heck, he hasn't even played professional football so far."

But on the 4th of December, Juan Merino was sacked. Nevertheless, he has been replaced by Jorge Romero, and this piece remains hanging in the air. Oh well...

"The very name La Línea de la Concepción is a reminder of Gibraltar's proximity. The town derives its name firstly from the línea or boundary line separating Spain from Gibraltar, and secondly from the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

The town is famous fo…

The story of three defensive midfielders whose careers are connected: Part 3 - Raúl Baena (11th December, 2017)

You can read part 1, about Sergio Matabuena, here. And part 2, about Javi Fuego, here.



Pep Guardiola was revered by Barcelona fans because he achieved something believed to be impossible - winning trophies consistently whilst playing beautiful, attacking football.

But beauty is subjective - and it isn't just of one type.

It's hard to justify how a tough-tackling, yellow-card accumulating player who barely ever scores or assists goals can be described as beautiful. It's hard to see the importance of a player like that in a system that rewards passing and movement.

But there is something beautiful, something heroic, something almost poetic, about a La Masia youth graduate, his hair flying in the air, his eyes determined, his brow tensed, his speed, stamina and strength all summoned, into a ridiculous tackle that looks impossible yet he emerges with the ball cleanly.

And he does it again. And again. And again.



If Espanyol fans came up a with a list of players who have one-uped Bar…