Skip to main content

Rayo 2-0 Gimnàstic. And why I support Rayo Vallekano. (21st May. 2017)

I get it now.

I get why I support Rayo. Watching the game against Gimnàstic, I realized why my heart belongs to a working-class district in Madrid I've never been to, to a club that smears its own fans and a side that should be competing against Barcelona and Real Madrid but instead plays Reus Deportiu and Mirandés*.

It wasn't the 2-0 win. Or the incessant wave of attack after attack. Or the intricate passing patterns breaking down a resolute defense.

It wasn't Roberto Trashorras, who had one of his best games in a Rayo shirt and created chance after chance. Or Ernesto Galán, who kept Nàstic's entire left side silent. Or Adrián Embarba, who exposed right back Gerard Valentín's foraying runs forward** with pace and trickery. Or Fran Beltrán, who defended with heart and attacked with skill. Or Antonio Amaya, who calmly kept and distributed the ball. Or even Míchel and his calm demeanor.

It's because there is a fight that Rayo fans are fighting and they're losing. They stand up for a politics that they believe in and get dismissed or ignored. They stand up for local, national and international causes and the club somehow does less than a basketball team in the same city***. They prioritize eye-catching football over results and get called crazy.

That fight manifests itself in many ways. There's the ways that everyone sees - the public feuds between the fans and the board, the creative protests in the stadiums, the solidarity between the fans and the players.

But there's the subtle ways - the ones that you don't notice until you see them happening right under your nose. You notice the fans roaring Presa, vete ya! multiple times each game and not one commentator ever daring to even mention it. You see the cameras turning to the fans and you catch a quick glimpse of an ADRV 1924 poster - a fight for a time when Rayo Vallecano was not run like a business - and then quickly turn away. You might catch the rare sight of the 'k' replacing the 'c' in "Rayo Vallecano" banners. You see the cameras show the white-and-red flags depicting Rayo but rarely see the black-and-red flags of the anarchists, or the red-yellow-purple flags of the Second Republic. You look closely and see the horrible state of the seats - chipped, rusted, broken, and beyond repair.

There's even the ways that you don't see at all, like club security taking away banners altogether.

There's a fight - a fight to express opinions, a fight against a media with an agenda and private interests with money in their eyes. A fight against a club ownership that shameless tarnishes the image of the club. A fight for ourselves.

And just like the squad that plays on the pitch, we may not win all the time, but we sure as hell are going to fight.

*no disrespect intended :)

**even though it must be said that Gerard had an excellent game going forward - he easily got past Rayo's left wing and skinned Álex Moreno time and time again.

***Estudiantes, the city's basketball club, opened a school for refugee children.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Francisco Pérez Pérez - the actual oldest player to have played in Spain (1st November, 2017)

I've always wanted to ask a football player: how much do you love your club? If you see your club go down, what are you willing to put on the line to see them go back up? The notion that "players will come and players will go, but the fans are the club" is one that is sadly true in what has become a money-filled sport. The story of a player sacrificing money and success for his club? That story is rare. That story is beautiful. This is that story. This is the story of a player who loved his club. His local club. It'll be a long time if and when someone beats his record. Francisco Pérez Pérez, also known as Chico, currently holds the record for being the oldest player to play in the Segunda B - 43 years and 93 days is the figure. That's a figure that second place Diego Rodríguez Fernández (41 years and 324 days) falls short of by a year and 134 days. I should also point out that the top 3 list for oldest players to play in any of the top three tier

Non-league Incider: Cray Valley Paper Mills 4-4 Punjab United Gravesend

Last game: 9th August: St Helens Town 3-0 Atherton Laburnum Rovers After ripping up my groundhopping calendar, mostly because I was determined to avoid overnight travel, and partly due to other commitments, there was a period of time where non-league football took a backseat. But that period did not last long. Because of course it didn't. Secretly, I'd loved travelling over ten hours back-and-forth to watch some 10th division football. And this was 9th division football in London. When I had gone to East Dulwich exactly a week back , I had commented on how the amount of graffiti struck me as I watched from on board a southeastern train. I was going the exact same way, but much further this time - then I had stopped at Denmark Hill, now I would have to go six stations further. The graffiti I had thought was so emblematic of south London quickly disappeared, as did the tall buildings desperately cluttered together. We, and by we I mean me, were going to the suburb

Who is Raúl Martín Presa, the Mickey Mouse? Part 1. (20th August, 2017)

José María Ruiz-Mateos was the head and main shareholder of Nueva Rumasa - the company that owned Rayo and other companies - mainly specializing in dairy products. (He wasn't the president of Rayo though - his wife, Teresa Rivero, was Rayo's president). In early 2011, the directors announced a debt of over 700 million euros, that it was on the verge of bankruptcy and that staff wouldn't be paid. And the players were visibly angry about it - captain Míchel assured the press that the club would continue fighting on the pitch, but the day after the announcement was made, six key players didn’t attend training. Veteran midfielder José María Movilla spoke on radio station SER about the situation, about the fact that he had only received seven of the last eighteen months of pay, about the fact that there were a few players who couldn't even afford car repairs. When Rayo Vallecano were about to earn promotion to La Liga despite all the odds - the players not being paid,