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The Rayo aficionado - with Juan Manuel Sánchez Fornell (18th September, 2017)

Juan Sánchez is a lifelong Rayo fan...and is @MitaADRV24 on Twitter, give him a follow!

A bit about yourself and your background

I am a rayista through and through, I have tattooed the shield of Rayo on my skin, am very eager to see Rayo at all times...if you ever have the chance to travel to Spain and Madrid, I invite you to go and see a match in Vallecas. It is incredible, you will really like it! I am a subscriber of the club and I love it.

How long have you been a fan of Rayo and what made you support them in the first place?

I supported the club since I was 5, since Rayo was in the Segunda B (similar to the English 3rd division), my father took me from a very young age, and I loved to go and enjoy the team play.

Describe your first visit ever to Vallecas and the stadium? How would you describe the fans in the stadium, and how intimidating is the stadium for opposition fans and players?

It was great! As I said, it was when I was very small and I saw so much madness for a team and its colors, to see that at a time when we were very few in numbers watching the team but we supported it like no other fan base. The rivals say that it is very difficult to play in Vallecas because the local fans are very encouraging and feel a lot of pressure, it is incredible.

To an outsider - how would you describe Rayo's playing style, what it means to be a fan of the club, and what it means to be a player of the club?

The style of play of Rayo is very similar to that of the Spanish national football team or the Barça of Pep Guardiola, especially when we were coached by Paco Jémez. Being a fan of Rayo is different to that of another team, because people are very familiar, very close and very affectionate.

And the players notice that and, because of that, players like Óscar Trejo return.

How would you describe the last few seasons for Rayo fans?

Malas, very painful, both the relegation from La Liga and last season in the Segunda.

What is your opinion on the utilization of the youth teams? How would you rate the opportunities that youth players get in the first team?

I like it, and you do see young promising players that can be very good, such as Léo Baptistão. But in Spain it is different to the EPL - the subsidiaries play alongside other professional teams, not in a different league. It depends on the team - as for Rayo I think there should be more opportunities, since we have had great players and they have gone away from Rayo because they haven't had the opportunities in a Rayo shirt.

List some things you appreciate and some things you can’t stand about the club management.

On the management of the club I can not say anything new, we suffer repression, dismiss workers who for 40 years have worked in the club, and do damage to the most valuable part of the club, and that is the fans.

To all readers: #PRESAVETEYA !

What are your thoughts on the Bukaneros? How would you describe them and their political affiliations? How would you characterize the board's support to them?

Bukaneros is a great ultra group, is always supportive - never stopping, and unconditionally Rayo. As far as their political position is concerned, I think it is normal. Vallecas suffered heavily under fascism during the Franco dictatorship - they have done a lot of damage....

Now, for some fun:
Any favorite Rayo song/chant?

LA VIDA PIRATA!

Do you belong to a particular penya? If so, which one?

No, but they are all great!

How important is it for you that Rayo wins versus Rayo plays well?

The important thing is to win, to get 3 points, but it is always better to play well and enjoy, right? :D

Best signing Rayo has made? Worst signing Rayo has made?

There have been many good signings, in past seasons Diego Costa, Michu ... and now Trejo. The worst? Miku, Raț, ZOZULYA!

Favorite player? Favorite manager?

Although not now at his best, certainly Javi Guerra. Favorite manager? Paco Jémez.

What is your favorite thing about Rayo, and why?

La afición, por como son. (The fan-base, for what they are.)

Is there something that the media doesn't (or maybe doesn't want to) talk about Rayo Vallecano that you think is worth mentioning?

Of course! All the charitable acts that the fan-base does, or the state of the ruined stadium, there needs to be a solution before it is too late....

Which websites/newspapers/people do you get your Rayo information from?

From Twitter: Isaac Fuoto, Carlos Sánchez Blas, Unión Rayo, etc!

Your thoughts on the season ahead?

Just a wish: May we ascend and enjoy our Rayo!

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