Rayo Vallecano

Rayo Vallecano

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Rayo Vallecano

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Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, S.A.D., often abbreviated to Rayo, is a Spanish football team based in Madrid, in the neighbourhood of Vallecas. Founded on 29 May 1924, it currently plays in La Liga, holding home matches at the 15,500-seater Estadio Teresa Rivero.


One of the perennial yo-yo clubs of Spanish football, Rayo Vallecano spent many years during the 1980s and 1990s moving back and forth between the first and second divisions. They appeared to have consolidated their top flight status after promotion in 1998–99, and the team's most successful season came in 2000–01, when they reached the UEFA Cup quarterfinals, going out only to eventual runners-up Deportivo Alavés (Rayo finished ninth in the previous season, but entered the competition via the fair play draw).

However, the club shortly thereafter fell on hard times, enduring successive relegations from the first (in 2002–03) and second division (2003–04). In 2005–06, the club hired Míchel, a legend for Real Madrid in the 1980s and 90s, as team manager.

The club finished the 2006–07 season in second place in third-tier, winning the promotion play-off semifinal, but losing in the final to SD Eibar (1–2 aggregate). The next season, Rayo returned to the second division after a four-year absence, winning the play-off, disposing of Benidorm CF in the semifinal, and Zamora CF in the last game (2–1 aggregate).

In the first season back in the second tier of Spanish football, Rayo finished comfortably,...
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