Skip to main content

Rejuvenating careers - Paco Jémez's success list (30th March, 2017)

Over four incredible seasons at Rayo, Paco Jémez took a Rayo side that was seconds away from relegation to an eight place finish, two mid-table finishes and an unfortunate relegation that even now seems unreal.

During that time, many players came to Rayo whose careers were in disarray - here's a list of those players who have now gone on to bigger and better things.


After a botched transfer to Manchester United, three loan spells with various degrees of success, a sale to Benfica, and a wretched six months and a relegation with Córdoba, Rayo took him in 2015 where he became a deadly left winger, with three goals and nine assists. After Rayo were relegated, he was sold to Eibar, where he has been a regular.

Iago Falqué

He played for Real Madrid's and Barcelona's youth teams. He was 18 when sold to Juventus and 22 when sold to Spurs, before which he had had loan spells with Bari and Villarreal B. After further loans to Southampton and Almería, Iago joined Rayo in 2013. His pace and trickery on the left wing earned him three goals, three assists, and moves to Genoa, Roma and now Torino, where he has already scored 10 times this season.

Rubén Rochina

If Iago took the left-wing by storm, Rochina took the right. His six months at Rayo, on loan from Blackburn, earned him three goals and an assist in 17 games, which would lead to a move to Granada - where eight goals and eight assists in two seasons led to Rubin Kazan triggering his 10 million euro release clause.

Alejandro Domínguez

Allan Jiang once wrote: "If you reflect back to Rayo Vallecano's 2012/13 season, you note Piti scoring, Léo Baptistão boosting his transfer stock, Alejandro Domínguez making Hollywood passes and Lass Bangoura going from goat to hero and vice versa."

After a failed spell at Valencia, 31-year-old Alejandro came to Rayo, where five goals and seven assists led to an eight place finish and a move to Olympiacos.

Jordi Amat

Michu wasn't the only Rayo player Swansea signed - the following summer, they signed center-back Jordi Amat after an impressive stint at Rayo, where he once scored this goal.

Gaël Kakuta

Chelsea signed the promising winger from Lens, but after loan spells at Fulham, Bolton, Dijon, Vitesse and Lazio, he came to Rayo in 2014. After just one season, his five goals and seven assists was enough to earn him a move to Sevilla, but a string of questionable decisions, including moving to China (Hebei China Fortune), means he is now nursing his career at Deportivo.

Alejandro Gálvez

Signed in 2012, two impressive seasons at Rayo earned him a move to Werder Bremen - now he's at Eibar.

Anaitz Arbilla

Perhaps the greatest success story - Paco took right-back Arbilla from Segunda outfit Hércules in January 2013, and in 18 months made him a solid La Liga defender, which earned him a move to Espanyol. He now plays at Eibar.


Popular posts from this blog

Non-league Incider: St Helens Town 3-0 Atherton Laburnum Rovers

Last game: 8th August: Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 East Thurrock United The previous day, I was blown away by my first ever football match experience. Dulwich Hamlet impressed me, but what impressed me more was the journey. The travel to the stadium was just as enjoyable as the football itself. I had caught the groundhopping bug. There were no games scheduled for the 9th of August. There was one, near Wigan, and all I had booked earlier was a refundable bus ticket from Manchester Airport leaving at quarter past midnight. I should have refunded it. This was a mistake. This whole day was a mistake. I was only slightly hungover from the previous night, but that was nothing compared to this feeling of loss - I couldn't handle the fact that there was a game happening. And I wasn't too far away. Just three hours and a bit. They'll fly by , I thought. I was in autopilot. Something within me made me get up, grab a bag, and get out the door. This wasn't me. I wasn't trave

Non-league Incider: Cray Valley Paper Mills 4-4 Punjab United Gravesend

Last game: 9th August: St Helens Town 3-0 Atherton Laburnum Rovers After ripping up my groundhopping calendar, mostly because I was determined to avoid overnight travel, and partly due to other commitments, there was a period of time where non-league football took a backseat. But that period did not last long. Because of course it didn't. Secretly, I'd loved travelling over ten hours back-and-forth to watch some 10th division football. And this was 9th division football in London. When I had gone to East Dulwich exactly a week back , I had commented on how the amount of graffiti struck me as I watched from on board a southeastern train. I was going the exact same way, but much further this time - then I had stopped at Denmark Hill, now I would have to go six stations further. The graffiti I had thought was so emblematic of south London quickly disappeared, as did the tall buildings desperately cluttered together. We, and by we I mean me, were going to the suburb

Who is Raúl Martín Presa, the Mickey Mouse? Part 1. (20th August, 2017)

José María Ruiz-Mateos was the head and main shareholder of Nueva Rumasa - the company that owned Rayo and other companies - mainly specializing in dairy products. (He wasn't the president of Rayo though - his wife, Teresa Rivero, was Rayo's president). In early 2011, the directors announced a debt of over 700 million euros, that it was on the verge of bankruptcy and that staff wouldn't be paid. And the players were visibly angry about it - captain Míchel assured the press that the club would continue fighting on the pitch, but the day after the announcement was made, six key players didn’t attend training. Veteran midfielder José María Movilla spoke on radio station SER about the situation, about the fact that he had only received seven of the last eighteen months of pay, about the fact that there were a few players who couldn't even afford car repairs. When Rayo Vallecano were about to earn promotion to La Liga despite all the odds - the players not being paid,