Radamel Falcao, one of the great strikers from the early 2010s, has taken a surprising step in his career, choosing to return to Madrid and sign for Rayo Vallecano. The signing of Falcao has shocked the footballing world and sent fans (Rayistas) into ecstasy.
Based in the working-class neighbourhood of Vallecas, Rayo Vallecano has hosted plenty of big names, Diego Costa, Saúl Ñínguez and Laurie Cunningham, to name a few, and now Falcao will be hoping to write his own history.
The club is probably considered to be historically the third biggest team in the Spanish capital. At the turn of the millennium, the club reached the quarter-finals of the Uefa Cup, losing 4-2 on aggregate to fellow Spanish side and eventual finalists, Deportivo Alaves. Unfortunately, since then, the club has yo-yoed between the top two divisions, even spending 4 seasons in the lowly Segunda B division.
However, support has never waivered. Despite the vast success across the city, at Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid, Rayistas have always been proud of the club's badge. Fans of the club are generally from the local barrio who are proud of the side's colours. Probably the most famous 'Equipo del barrio', a team representing the local neighbourhood and its people, in Spain; Rayo Vallecano have a passionate fanbase who support anti-racism and anti-fascism movements. The club is known for its activism in the local community. Such is the left-wing support fans have driven out a player, Roman Zozuyla, for his supposed Neo-Nazi beliefs and even campaigned against the eviction of a local elderly resident with the slogan Carmen se queda (Carmen stays).
The passion and pride these fans have for their club has never been more evident. Before he has even kicked a football for Rayo Vallecano (Los Franjirrojos), Falcao has already sent the Fondo into delirium. On Thursday night, el Tigre was officially presented to a packed out Fondo. Some fans queued for almost an hour and a half to get a glimpse of their new star. Strangely, he has elected to wear the number 3; however, the number is to pay tribute to his late father, Colombian defender Radamel García.
The new number 3 has already got the ultra group, los Bukaneros, dreaming of success, outlining his plans to fans, football españa report he said he wanted to dream of a little more than staying up. After earning a dramatic promotion last season, all involved will be hoping to fare better than their most recent outing in La Liga; in 2018/2019, Los Franjirrojos propped up the table.
Thursday marked the beginning of Falcao fever which is likely to only get louder ahead of the all Madrid clash at Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas. This weekend away from the bright lights of the Wanda Metropolitano tucked into the working class Madrilenian neighbourhood, Vallecas, Rayo Vallecano take on Getafe CF.
The Season So Far
Currently, Rayo Vallecano are sat in 12th with 4 points whilst this weekends opponent, Getafe CF, are getting used to life without one of the best coaches in La Liga José Bordalás, who moved to Valencia CF this summer. Both sides have faced a tough start to the season and have perhaps been unfortunate not to pick up more points.
On the opening day of the season, Rayo Vallecano were defeated 3-0 by Sevilla FC. Although the Madrilenians started the better of the sides, the game turned when goalkeeper Luca Zidane conceded a penalty and was sent off after a quarter of an hour. Then, they were narrowly defeated by Real Sociedad, 1-0. In their last two games, they have picked up 4 points, demolishing Granada CF 4-0 and grabbing a last-minute equaliser against Levante UD.
On the other hand, Getafe are without a single point, after defeats to FC Barcelona, Seville, Valencia, and a disappointing 1-0 loss to relegation contenders Elche CF. Despite this, all the games have ended in just a solitary goal defeat. So although Rayo Vallecano will be hoping to capitalise on their opponent's poor condition, it won’t be an easy win for Falcao and co.
Furthermore, with Rayo Vallecano, it’s never straightforward. Last season in the Segunda División, they won less than 50% of their games (19/42). But, they then comfortably dispatched in-form CD Leganes and then Girona FC to go up to La Liga.
Falcao will be hoping to hit the ground running after an injury-hit spell at Galatasaray SK. Due to injuries, El Tigre only made 34 league appearances in his 2 seasons in Istanbul. But where will the Colombian striker fit in? Manager Andoni Iraola has favoured 4-2-3-1 for the opening games of the season. So Falcao will be a lone striker, something which he thrived on at Atlético de Madrid and FC Porto. His attack-minded side will be faced by their polar opposite in a defensive Getafe side.
Getafe, Los Azulones, are known for their stinginess at the back, but the most worrying sign for manager Míchel is their lack of quality in the attacking third. Against Seville, they failed to register a shot on target, against relegation candidates, Elche, Los Azulones managed to have just one. After the match, the Getafe fans chanted for manager Míchel to leave. A fifth match without a win would put the Spaniard under immense pressure.
If this has whetted your appetite, tickets for this match start at just 10€. Falcao is expected to feature at some point and is hoping he can compound Getafe's miseries. This clash looks likely to be an early relegation 6 pointer. Rayo Vallecano are looking to capitalise on their opponent's fragility whilst also looking to continue their momentum. Los Franjirrojos next 5 fixtures will be highlighted as games that they need to pick up maximum points. The game kicks off tomorrow at 13:00 GMT live on Premier Sports.