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de la Vega, Stanković, Txutxi and 950 kg of cocaine. And the latest Rayo developments. (12th June, 2016)

In February 2009, de la Vega was arrested in connection with an anti-drug operation in the Spanish capital. After eight days, he paid €30.000 in order to be released from custody.

Former footballers Predrag Stanković and Txutxi were also involved in the plot, among others. In 2014 (confirmation in 2015) de la Vega was one of two persons acquitted, as five other people received sentences that ranged from four to 12 years. Predrag and Txutxi were condemned to nine years in 2014 (confirmation in 2015) for smuggling 950 kg of cocaine into the country.

After emerging through Rayo Vallecano's youth system, right-back Carlos de la Vega 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 Segunda División B.

He retired in 2014, aged 34.

His legacy will always be intact - in the 2007-08 season Rayo had a very good squad with great players like Piti, Cubillo, Pachón, Míchel, Coke ... However, in the Segunda B one can have a great year and in the end one can have a very bad game. It happened to Rayo, because in Benidorm they had a bad game in which they could not score a goal and Benidorm scored and were close to the Segunda.

Carlos de la Vega assisted Manolo for an 83rd minute away goal - a goal that gave Rayo the pinch of luck that is usually necessary to achieve a promotion from the Segunda B.

In Serbia, Stanković played for OFK Beograd, FK Zemun and Red Star Belgrade. At age 28, in January 1997, he moved abroad, signing with Spanish side Hércules CF.

Stanković made his La Liga debut for the club, and managed to appear regularly until the end of the season as his team was eventually relegated. He shared teams with compatriot Josip Višnjić during his spell in Alicante.

In 1999, Stanković and Hércules suffered another relegation, now to the third division. He then signed with CP Mérida but the club folded soon after, immerse in a deep financial crisis, and the player retired at 32.

After retiring, Stanković settled in Spain and became a player's agent.

Born in Bilbao, Txutxi joined Athletic Bilbao's youth system at the age of 17. He spent four full seasons competing with the reserves in the Segunda, being relegated in 1996.

Txutxi first appeared in La Liga courtesy of manager Dragoslav Stepanović in 1995, a 0–0 home draw to Español in which he again played the entire game. After leaving the Basques he resumed his career in the second level, with UE Lleida and Badajoz, eventually becoming team captain at the latter.

In December 2001, Txutxi signed for Segunda División B club Hércules. After a spell with Yeclano in the Segunda B (2003-04), he retired in June 2005 aged 32, with amateurs Sangonera.




In a recent press conference, Míchel recently indicated that left-back Sergio Akieme will be a part of the first team squad next season, Joni Montiel will play the preseason, and that Pablo Clavería would "continue" despite having a contract that expires this summer.

He also confirmed his own continuity for next season.

Ramón Planes, the sporting director, also confirmed that he had rejected an offer from Maccabi Haifa, and would see out his final year.

He joined Rayo four years ago.

Another player to make the switch from Getafe, Sergio "Aki" Akieme was born in Madrid to Equatoguinean parents - his father was born in Bata while his mother was born in Malabo. He has played for the Spanish U18 and U19 sides, and made his professional debut last September. He started in the 2-0 Copa del Rey away win against Almería.

Speaking of Almería, one of their players is ex-Rayo player Pape Maly Diamanka.

On 13 June 2011, Diamanka renewed his contract with Rayo with a €6 million buyout clause, also being promoted to the main squad for the 2011–12 campaign. However, he spent several months sidelined, because of bureaucratic problems.

Born in Dakar, Diamanka began his career with local US Gorée. In February 2010 he joined Spanish club Rayo Vallecano, being assigned to the reserves in Tercera División and being a regular in the 2010-11 season as Rayo retained their Segunda B status.

His career at Rayo never truly got off the ground - he spent the 2012-13 season on loan at Vålerenga, and was released as Rayo B were relegated. However, after a Segunda B season at Sestao, he has since played in the Segunda - a season each at Leganés, Real Zaragoza, and Almería.



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