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Raúl Baena. End of the women's team? And true Rayistas - part 5 (30th May, 2017)

One of my first ever posts was about Raúl Baena and his important to Rayo. (You can read it here).

This week, Baena, who is out of contract this summer, was linked to Alcorcón. The team is short of midfielders, since Víctor Pérez and Bakic will be returning to Valladolid and Sporting Braga respectively.

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.

Baena is everything that Rayo is not. And even though he is important, he may soon be irrelevant - Fran Beltrán has already replaced him in the starting lineup, a player who defends with heart and attacks with skill, who dribbles calmly and wins the ball cleanly.

If Raúl Baena leaves, the sad truth is that many will remember him. But many won't miss him.



Rayo's board really doesn't like the women's team.

Despite a better than expected campaign where Rayo qualified for the Copa de la Reina, many players are set to leave, with first and even second division teams offering far more than what Rayo can offer.

In fact, more than half the team (nine players and part of the coaching staff) have offers of this nature.

And don't expect players to stay - last season, Alexandra Rosillo and Marianela Szymanowski signed for Atlético and Valencia. And even players who were comfortable in Vallekas left for a second division team, such as Patricia Mascaró, Costa, Catalá and Saray.

The reason why these players aren't being offered contracts? Rumors aplenty that Rayo's board doesn't see a future for the team since it doesn't make enough money.



This week, another transfer rumor came to light:






This is part 5 of the true Rayistas. You can read part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, and part 4 here.

This season, a newly relegated team was struggling to survive in the second division, as Rayistas came together and supported the team through and through.

But those Rayistas don't just include fans - they include former players as well. The likes of Saúl Ñíguez, Yoel, Bebé and national team coach Julen Lopetegui have sat in the stands among other fans and supported the team too.

An Atlético Madrid star, two Eibar players - all three of whom only played on loan at Rayo for a season - and a national football coach, all came down to a humble stadium to support the fans that once cheered for them.

Beautiful.




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