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A 100 appearances for the club! Adrián Embarba - a player who gives a 100% (27th September, 2017)

Given that Adrián Embarba just reached 100 appearances for Rayo, here is his story - some shared on this blog before, some not...

Football is cruel. Hype is often wrong. And history forgets quickly.

It's easy to forget that Embarba was the least heralded of three signings for Rayo B in 2013. Miki Ruiz was a striker heralded for his pace and strength, his finishing and his shot power. He was from Córdoba, he was ex-FC Barcelona, ex-Real Madrid, ex-Valencia and ex-Hércules, and he had already played for the U-20 Spain team, alongside Jesé Rodríguez and Derik Osede.

He, at just 19, had a bright future ahead of him.

So did Sergio Parla, ex-Getafe, ex-Real Madrid and ex-Alcobendas. The 21 year old center-back, whose ball-playing skills and pace made him a perfect Rayo defender. His future was bright too - sharing hydrotherapy pools with Ronaldo and, despite a torrid time with Alcobedas, his ability meant regular appearances for the first team.

Embarba? Released by Real Madrid, then by RSD Alcalá, then by Getafe, he made his debut for Marchamalo in 2011, then played next season with Carabanchel. Yes, out of the players signed from the historic Hércules, the well-known Alcobendas and what's-that-again Carabanchel*, it was the last one that made it.

The others will be forgotten quickly - Miki Ruiz signed for Montilla just six months later, and would go on to play for Ciudad de Lucena, Girona B, Lucena CF, and Cacereño (for whom he signed in January 2017), before joining Atlético Sanluqueño this summer. Parla went back to Alcobendas in 2015, in January 2017 joined Rayo Majadahonda and this summer signed for CD Móstoles URJC. Even Embarba's second cousin, who joined Rayo from Atlético Madrid and became the club's youngest player ever to appear in an official match (17 years and 140 days, which was then surpassed by 32 days by Joni Montiel) left in 2016 for Fuenlabrada.

*Carabanchel is the third oldest club in Madrid, after Real and Atlético. So many some know it...



Technically, he is not a Rayo youth graduate.

After being released by Real Madrid, and RSD Alcalá, and Pisteros, he rebuilt at EMF Alovera (Guadalajara) before signing, and then being released, by Getafe as well.

Having to rebuild his career in the Tercera, with Marchamalo and Carabanchel, joining recently relegated Rayo B in the same league may have looked like just another move.

It turned out to be a huge career boost.

Not two months later, on the 30th of August, Embarba, who had never played in the Segunda B or the Segunda, made his professional and La Liga debut, replacing the injured Iago Falqué, and playing 65 minutes in a 1-2 loss at home to Levante.

This weekend, he reached 100 appearances - a 100 professional appearances - for Rayo. He "made" it - not just because he is quick, skillful and technically excellent, but also because he works hard, and tracks back.

And gives his 100% - every time.

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

The ball never left his feet. His feet were tiny but they had magic. A dizzying array of body feints, close control, direction changes and sheer speed, often resembling a roller-coaster, left opposition defenders outwitted. And yes - sometimes, he frustrated. Sometimes, he was irregular.

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

If Juan Quero plays against Real Madrid he'll be playing against the club that let him go. The club that didn't think he had it in him to become a La Liga player.

The club that was wrong. Very, very wrong - he went fr…