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On Rayo's reserves: Lass Bangoura. And little known record holders (14th November, 2017)

It must be frustrating to be linked to a club whose budget is 50 times the size of the club you play for, and at the same time be unwanted at the club you play for. In October of 2015, Barcelona were looking to sign a Guinean winger from Rayo at about the same time that he was expelled from training for his attitude. He was loaned out to Ligue 1 club Stade de Reims just three months later.

Lass Bangoura has quality - he is a skillful dribbler, a pace merchant and a confident player. But it is his attitude that ticked Paco Jémez and Rayo fans off to no end.

Born in Conakry, Bangoura began his career with local Étoile de Guinée. In 2010, aged 18, he joined the youth ranks of Spanish club Rayo Vallecano, scoring 23 goals in 25 games in his last year as a junior.

Without having played for Rayo Vallecano B, Lass managed to appear in four Segunda matches with the first team during the 2010-11 season, as the Madrid side returned to La Liga after an eight-year absence. In June 2011 he attracted the interest of neighboring Real Madrid, who made an offer to purchase the player. However, the 500,000 euro offer was less that his 1.5 million euro release clause, and so the deal did not materialize, and other clubs became interested. Sevilla's coach at the time, Marcelino, knew Lass as his son, Sergio, played in Rayo's juvenil teams - and so Monchi was coming to Vallecas to watch the Guinean winger.

But no move materialized. Just as no move materialized when during the 2016-17 season, after making just 11 appearances, in January 2017 he was linked to loan deals with Girondins de Bordeaux, Ukraine's Dynamo Kiev and Antalyaspor, as well as a permanent deal to an unnamed Chinese club.

Both times, his career was revived. And despite his outbursts with Paco that led to a loan move to Granada in the early days of the 2015 January transfer window, and another one to Stade de Reims in January 2016, Lass has stayed.



Segunda B legends are, quite literally, in a league of their own.

He is a player who stands out for his tactical intelligence, work ethic and combative nature in the center of the park. He is now playing his 14th consecutive season in the Segunda B at the age of just 34.

José Carlos Romero Infante, also known as Checa, holds the joint top record for most clubs played with in the Segunda B - 13, to be exact. The list seems to never end: Fuerteventura (2004-05), Real Jaén (2005), Lanzarote (2006 calendar year), Alcalá (2007), Algeciras (2007), Santa Brígida (2008), Pájara-Playas (2008-09), Écija Balompié (2009-10), Atlético Baleares (2010-11), Puertollano (2011-12), Cacereño (2012-14), UCAM Murcia (2014-16) and Hércules (2016 on wards).

You don't have to look around for long to see other amazing players with their own amazing stories. In fact, the joint record holder for most clubs played at in the Segunda also currently plays at Hércules - and his record is 10 clubs. Striker Óscar Díaz González started out in the Segunda B with hometown club Alcorcón in the 2004-05 season. And the 33-year-old returned to the Segunda B this summer by signing for Hércules.

But the 12 seasons in between have been full of ups and downs in the top two tiers.

To be continued tomorrow...

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