Rayo Vallecano

Rayo Vallecano
Full name Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, SAD
Nickname(s) Los Franjirrojos (The Red Sashes)
Los Vallecanos (The Vallecans)
Founded 29 May 1924 (1924-05-29)
Ground Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas,
Madrid, Spain
Ground Capacity 14,708
Chairman Raúl Martín Presa
Manager Rubén Baraja
League Segunda División
2015–16 La Liga, 18th (relegated)
Website Club home page

Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, S.A.D. (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈraʝo βaʎeˈkano ðe maˈðɾið]), often abbreviated to Rayo, is a Spanish football team based in Madrid, in the neighbourhood of Vallecas. Founded on 29 May 1924, the club currently plays in Segunda División, Spain's second tier division. Home games are held at the 14,708-seater Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas stadium.

Rayo has competed in one European competition, the UEFA Cup in the 2000–01 season. The club made it to the quarter-finals before losing to fellow countrymen Deportivo Alavés 4–2 on aggregate.


Rayo Vallecano saw the light of day on 29 May 1924 in the hometown of Prudencia Priego, wife of the club's first president Julián Huerta. Greatly inspired by River Plate (a Football club from Argentina), in 1949, after an agreement with Atlético Madrid, a red diagonal stripe was added to the team's kit, and the club reached Tercera División for the first time in its history.[1]

One of the perennial yo-yo clubs of Spanish football, and always in the shadow of the two biggest clubs in the city (Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid), Rayo Vallecano spent many years during the 1980s and 1990s moving back and forth between La Liga and Segunda División. They appeared to have consolidated their top flight status after gaining promotion in 1999, and the team's most successful season came in 2000–01 when they reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup, going out only to eventual runners-up Deportivo Alavés;[2] Rayo finished ninth in the previous campaign, but entered the competition via the fair play draw.[3]

However, the club shortly thereafter fell on hard times, enduring successive relegations in 2003 and 2004. For 2005–06 manager Míchel, a Real Madrid legend in the 1980s and 90s, was hired.[4]

Rayo finished the 2006–07 season in second place in Segunda División B, winning the promotion play-off semifinal but losing in the final to SD Eibar (1–2 aggregate).[5] The following campaign, the team returned to division two after a four-year absence after a victorious run in the playoffs, disposing of Benidorm CF in the semifinal and Zamora CF in the last game 2–1 on aggregate.[6]

In the first season back in the second tier of Spanish football, Rayo finished comfortably, often either in or just outside the promotion places. That same year, its women's team was crowned league champions for the first time, thereby qualifying for the UEFA Women's Champions League, but was eliminated 2–5 on aggregate in the round-of-32 by Russia's WFC Rossiyanka.

In 2010–11, Rayo Vallecano ranked in second position and returned to the top flight after an eight-year absence, only trailing champions Real Betis in spite of very serious economic problems.[7][8][9] In late March 2012, in support of the 2011–12 Spanish protests, the squad decided to take one day off from training to join the demonstrations.[10]

Deportivo de La Coruña vs. Rayo Vallecano.

In August 2015, Rayo Vallecano purchased the majority of Oklahoma City FC, a NASL expansion franchise which had yet to officially play a game renaming the club to Rayo OKC. It was the first ever entry of a Spanish club into the American sports market, and mirrored a 2013 sponsorship agreement with Qbao in terms of expanding the club's profile overseas.[11]

In May 2016, Rayo Vallecano was relegated to the Segunda División, finishing 18th in the 2015–16 La Liga season. This ended their five-year streak in La Liga, their longest ever stay in the top-flight.

Club background

N.B. Affiliate of Club Atlético de Madrid in 1949–50

Season to season

Season Division Place Copa del Rey
1949/50 14th Did Not Play
1950/51 13th DNP
1951/52 9th DNP
1952/53 7th DNP
1953/54 17th DNP
1954/55 2nd DNP
1955/56 1st DNP
1956/57 12th DNP
1957/58 6th DNP
1958/59 14th First Round
1959/60 5th First Round
1960/61 16th First Round
1961/62 3rd DNP
1962/63 2nd DNP
1963/64 3rd DNP
1964/65 1st DNP
1965/66 9th First Round
1966/67 6th First Round
1967/68 4th Round of 32
1968/69 9th DNP
1969/70 6th Round of 32
Season Division Place Copa del Rey
1970/71 5th Round of 32
1971/72 8th Fourth Round
1972/73 11th Third Round
1973/74 14th Round of 16
1974/75 8th Fourth Round
1975/76 9th Second Round
1976/77 3rd Third Round
1977/78 10th Third Round
1978/79 15th Round of 16
1979/80 16th Quarterfinals
1980/81 5th Quarterfinals
1981/82 7th Semifinals
1982/83 9th Round of 16
1983/84 20th Third Round
1984/85 2ªB 1st Third Round
1985/86 15th Fourth Round
1986/87 5th First Round
1987/88 5th Round of 32
1988/89 2nd First Round
1989/90 20th Second Round
Season Division Place Copa del Rey
1990/91 11th Fifth Round
1991/92 2nd Fourth Round
1992/93 14th Fourth Round
1993/94 17th Fourth Round
1994/95 2nd Quarterfinals
1995/96 19th Third Round
1996/97 18th Quarterfinals
1997/98 8th Second Round
1998/99 5th First Round
1999/00 9th Quarterfinals
2000/01 14th Round of 16
2001/02 11th Quarterfinals
2002/03 20th Round of 64
2003/04 21st Round of 64
2004/05 2ªB 3rd Round of 64
2005/06 2ªB 5th Third Round
2006/07 2ªB 2nd Round of 16
2007/08 2ªB 1st Third Round
2008/09 5th Round of 32
2009/10 11th Round of 16
Season Division Place Copa del Rey
2010/11 2nd Third round
2011/12 15th Round of 32
2012/13 8th Round of 32
2013/14 12th Round of 16
2014/15 11th Round of 32
2015/16 18th Round of 16
2016/17 Third round

European history

Season Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2000–01 UEFA Cup Qualifying round Andorra Constel·lació Esportiva 6–0 10–0 16–0
First round Norway Molde 1–1 1–0 2–1
Second round Denmark Viborg 1–0 1–2 2–2 (a)
Third round Russia Lokomotiv Moscow 2–0 0–0 2–0
Fourth round France Bordeaux 4–1 2–1 6–2
Quarter-finals Spain Alavés 2–1 0–3 2–4

Current squad

As of 19 August 2016[12]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Argentina GK Paulo Gazzaniga (on loan from Southampton)
2 Spain DF Ernesto Galán
3 Spain DF Nacho
4 Spain DF Antonio Amaya
5 Spain DF Chechu Dorado
6 Spain MF Álex Moreno
7 Venezuela FW Miku
8 Spain MF Raúl Baena
9 Angola FW Manucho
10 Spain MF Roberto Trashorras (Captain)
11 Spain MF Adri Embarba
12 Colombia DF Johan Mojica
13 Spain GK Toño
14 Spain DF Pablo Íñiguez (on loan from Villarreal)
15 Romania DF Răzvan Raț
No. Position Player
16 Argentina MF Franco Cristaldo (on loan from Boca Juniors)
17 Spain DF Quini
18 Portugal DF Zé Castro
19 Guinea MF Lass Bangoura
20 Germany MF Patrick Ebert
22 Spain MF Diego Aguirre
23 Spain MF Piti
24 Spain FW Javi Guerra
25 Argentina MF Bruno Zuculini (on loan from Manchester City)
26 Spain MF Joni Montiel
27 Spain MF Santi Comesaña
28 Spain MF Pablo Clavería
29 Spain MF Fran Beltrán
30 Colombia GK Luis García


Notable former players

Note: this list includes players that have played at least 100 league games and/or have reached international status.


Dates Name
1944–46 Spain Cayetano Sardinero
1946–47 Spain Julián Antón
1947–48 Spain Luis Pérez
1948–49 Spain Tomás Rodríguez Rubio
1949–50 Spain Ramón de la Fuente
1950–51 Spain Anselmo Nogales
1951–52 Spain Félix Huete
1952–53 Spain Lorenzo Sánchez Villar
1954–55 Spain Cándido Machado
1953–54 Spain Patricio Sánchez Calleja
1954–55 Spain Manuel Alepuz
1955–56 Spain Cándido Machado
1956–58 Spain Ramón Colón
1958 Spain Cándido Machado
1958–59 Argentina Lino Taioli
1959 Paraguay Heriberto Herrera
1959–60 Spain Ramón Colón
1960 Spain Alfonso Aparicio
1960–61 Spain Martín Camino
1961 Spain Ramón Cobo
1961 Spain Joseíto
1961–64 Spain Herrero
1964–67 Spain Pedro Eguiluz
July 1967–June 69 Spain José Antonio Olmedo
Dates Name
July 1969–Feb 71 Spain Manuel Peñalva
Feb 1971–June 72 Spain Enrique Orizaola
July 1972–Jan 73 Spain Manuel Vences
Jan 1973–June 74 Spain José Antonio Olmedo
June 1974–June 75 Uruguay Héctor Núñez
June 1975–Feb 76 Argentina Spain Alfredo Di Stéfano
Feb 1976–June 76 Spain José Antonio Olmedo
July 1976–June 77 Spain García Verdugo
June 1977–June 78 Uruguay Héctor Núñez
July 1978–June 79 Spain Eduardo González
June 1979–Feb 80 Uruguay Héctor Núñez
Feb 1980–June 80 Spain Rafael Iriondo
June 1980–Dec 81 Spain Eduardo González
Dec 1981–June 82 Spain Manuel Peñalva
June 1982–June 83 Spain Juanjo García
July 1, 1983–Nov 83 Spain Máximo Hernández
Nov 1983–June 84 Spain Antonio Ruiz
1984–85 Spain Eduardo Caturla
1985–87 Uruguay Héctor Núñez
July 1987–Jan 90 Spain Felines
Jan 1990–June 90 Spain Emilio Cruz
July 1990–Feb 92 Spain Eusebio Ríos
Feb 1992–June 93 Spain José Antonio Camacho
July 1993–Nov 93 Spain Felines
Dates Name
Nov 1993–Feb 94 Spain Fernando Zambrano
Feb 1994–Nov 94 Spain David Vidal
Nov 1994–June 95 Spain Paquito
June 1995–Oct 95 Spain Pedro Mari Zabalza
Oct 1995–April 96 Spain Marcos Alonso
July 1996–Feb 97 Spain Paquito
Feb 1997–March 97 Spain Fernando Zambrano
March 1997–June 97 Spain Máximo Hernández
1997–98 Spain Josu Ortuondo
July 1, 1998 – June 30, 2001 Spain Juande Ramos
July 1, 2001–Oct 1, 2001 Spain Andoni Goikoetxea
Oct 1, 2001–June 30, 2002 Spain Gregorio Manzano
July 1, 2002–Jan 20, 2003 Spain Fernando Vázquez
Feb 2003–April 3 Paraguay Gustavo Benítez
April 2003–June 3 Spain Antonio Iriondo
June 2003–Nov 03 Spain Julen Lopetegui
Nov 10, 2003–Feb 15, 2004 Argentina Jorge D'Alessandro
Feb 2004–June 4 Spain Txetxu Rojo
June 2004–June 5 Spain Carlos Orúe
July 1, 2005 – June 30, 2006 Spain Míchel
June 16, 2006–Feb 15, 2010 Spain Pepe Mel
Feb 15, 2010–June 30, 2010 Spain Felipe Miñambres
July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2012 Spain José Ramón Sandoval
July 1, 2012– Spain Paco Jémez

Club presidents

Dates Name
1924–26 Julián Huerta
1926–27 José Montoya
1927–28 Galo Andrés
1929–30 José Antonio Sánchez
1930–31 Anastasio Sánchez
1931–36 Ángel Martínez
Dates Name
1939–43 Miguel Rodríguez Alzola
1943–46 Ezequiel Huerta
1946–48 José Rodríguez Rubio
1948–55 Miguel Rodríguez Alzola
1955–58 Jerónimo Martínez
1958–61 Tomás Esteras
Dates Name
1961–65 Iván Roiz
1965–73 Pedro Roiz
1973–78 Marcelino Gil
1978–80 Francisco Encinas
1980–81 Luis Quer
1981–89 Francisco Fontán
Dates Name
1989–91 Pedro García Jiménez
1991–94 José María Ruiz Mateos
1994–2011 Teresa Rivero
2011– Raúl Martín Presa


Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas is a football stadium located on Calle Payaso Fofó 1, Vallecas. Opened on 10 May 1976, at first it was called "New Stadium Vallecas", but in January 2004, 13 years after the arrival of the Ruiz-Mateos family in 1991, it changed denominations, as the wife was also named by her husband, business man José María, the first woman president of an elite football team.

It has a capacity of 14,708 spectators in an all-seated format, and dimensions of 102x64m. Additionally, one of the goalends does not have a grandstand, just a big wall with information panels.

In June 2009, the club announced plans for the construction of a new stadium.


Although most people recognise the supporting songs by ska band Ska-P, Rayo Vallecano has an official hymn played at the stadium in home matches.

Rayo Vallecano always plays

with bravery, courage and nobility.

In every game it gives its heart

and chest and aspire to be the best.

No one can take the triumph from its hand,

when Rayo Vallecano is out to score.

Rayo Vallecano makes a virtue out of its game.

Rayo Vallecano is strength and youth.

To see the clean triumph of your colours

your fans follow you, and don't care where to,

and unanimous trumpet their cheerful voices.

Rayo has the nerve of a champion.

No one can take the triumph from its hand,

when Rayo Vallecano is out to score.

Rayo Vallecano makes a virtue out of its game.

Rayo Vallecano is strength and youth.

Alabi! Alaba!

Rayo Vallecano!

Ra, ra, ra!

Miscellaneous info


  1. "Historia resumida del Rayo" [Brief history of Rayo] (in Spanish). Rayo Vallecano. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  2. "Alaves through as Rayo fall". BBC Sport. 15 March 2001. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  3. "El 'Fair Play', ¿una puerta abierta para jugar en Europa?" ['Fair Play', open door to play in Europe?] (in Spanish). Terra. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  4. "Michel, nuevo entrenador del Rayo" [Michel, new Rayo manager] (in Spanish). ABC. 23 June 2005. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  5. "El Eibar regresa a Segunda tras remontar ante el Rayo Vallecano" [Eibar returns to Segunda after coming back from behind against Rayo Vallecano] (in Spanish). Diario AS. 24 June 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  6. "El Rayo vuelve a la División de Plata del fútbol español" [Rayo return to silver category of Spanish football] (in Spanish). Marca. 15 June 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  7. Dona Teresa takes off mask; Football Scouting, 1 March 2011
  8. Unpaid Rayo have sights set on La Liga payday; Reuters, 30 March 2011
  9. Los jugadores del Rayo Vallecano seguirán sin cobrar (Rayo Vallecano players will still not be paid); El Correo Gallego, 26 February 2011 (Spanish)
  10. "Rayo Vallecano players strike over Spanish austerity cuts". When Saturday Comes. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  11. "El Rayo compra la mayoría de acciones del Oklahoma City" [Rayo purchases majority of Oklahoma City shares] (in Spanish). AS. 19 August 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  12. "Primer equipo" [First team] (in Spanish). Rayo Vallecano. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  13. "Huawei sponsors Rayo Vallecano for two matches, against Real Madrid and Bilbao". GSM Insider. 30 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  14. Villalba, Juanjo (January 2015). "Spanish Football Team Rescues an Old Lady". Vice Magazine. 13 (1): 15.
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