Rayo Vallecano

Founded In
Madrid, Spain

Rayo Vallecano

About Rayo Vallecano

Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, sometimes abbreviated to Rayo Vallecano or simply Rayo, were founded in 1924. For the early part of the team's history, they played in plain white shirts, although a partnership deal with Atletico Madrid, struck in 1949, saw the addition of a red diagonal stripe to the home shirt. This stripe remains a part of the kit to this day.

Known as a yo-yo club, Rayo Vallecano have spent most of their history in the second tier of the Spanish league system, occasionally falling to the third tier, including a recent spell between 2004-2008. Their first appearance in the Primera División came in 1977/78, over fifty years after the club's formation. However, the team was relegated at the end of the 1979/80 season and would not return to the top flight until 1989/90.

Rayo Vallecano have never won a major trophy, although the club's most successful period came between 1999 and 2001. During the 1999-00 season, the club finished in 9th place in La Liga, their highest ever finish. Their UEFA Fair Play ranking earned them qualification for the following season's UEFA Cup and in 2000-01, the team reached the quarter finals of that competition, losing to eventual competition finalists Deportivo Alavés.

Noteable footballers to play for the club in the past include Mexican legend Hugo Sánchez, former England international Laurie Cunningham, USA international goalkeeper Kasey Keller and current Premier League star Michu, who scored 17 goals from midfield for the club in the 2011–12 season.

Since 1976 the club has played home matches at the Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas, formerly called the Estadio Teresa Rivero. It is an all-seater, multi-use stadium which currently has a total capacity of 14,708, making it the smallest stadium currently used by a La Liga side.