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Rayo players and (cash-rich) Granada - a painful (monetary) connection (based on money). And this blog (4th July, 2017)

Given that now Baena has also signed for Granada - that's three Rayo players to the club in two years - you can excuse the frustration that I feel. And it may not even be the end - Manucho, Ebert, Nacho, Dorado, Dovale and Miku, among others I'm surely forgetting, are all free to sign for other clubs. 

Granada have taken legends from Rayo - Juan José Collantes, Piti, Tito, and now Baena too. And what makes it even more painful is that it's so simple.

Money talks.

TL;DR: I hate Granada.



He was just one of three players to stay with the club from 2004 all the way till 2008, when Rayo jumped out of the well and into the Segunda.

The name? Juan José Collantes, who joined Rayo midway through the 2004-05 season also at the age of 21 after roaming around in Villareal (Juvenil), CD Onda, Palamos CF, and Racing de Santander B. A right winger, he would score 12 goals in the 2007-08 Segunda B, and along with Sergio Pachón (16 goals), Míchel (10 goals) and Piti (7 goals) gave Rayo enough of a creative outlet on the right, acted as a quick, pacey foil for Piti and as a result Rayo were in the Segunda.

He would stay till 2009, leaving in January 2010 for Granada, a Segunda B club (correction: a bankrolled Segunda B club), and would earn promotion with them that very season, and the next won too to La Liga. He subsequently stayed in the Segunda, playing for Cartagena (2011-12, ended with relegation), Sabadell (2012-15, also ended with relegation), Alcorcón (2015-Jan 2017) and UCAM Murcia, where he currently plays.



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.

Goodbye, Baena. Best of luck - it's going to be hard to see you not in a Rayo shirt - but I guess I'm going to have to get used to that.



I actually didn't have much to write today.

I didn't want to research and "dig deep" for another little known story in Spanish football. I didn't want to write about a club that's failing, or a player who won't be remembered, or a story that won't be heard or, worse, be cared about. I didn't want to do any of that.

Today, I was too tired to write. I was too drowned in this horrible feeling - the feeling that knows that at the end of the day who cares. Who cares if a club is failing, or a player made it to professional football despite the odds, or of the various beautiful idiosyncrasies of Spanish football at a local and national level.

Who cares? Few. Very few.

I've just realized the irony - my desire not to write has led me to write.

Maybe I should do this more often...





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He was short. Very short. At 5'3", the left winger sometimes played in an over-sized shirt.

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But when he turned up, the world was at his feet.

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