Following their promotion into the Spanish top-flight in 2020-21, Rayo Vallecano has its sights set on European ambitions this season.
The Spanish outfit defeated Deportivo Alavés 2-0 to climb into the top four of La Liga, prompting from home fans chants of – “El año que viene, Rayo-Liverpool”.
When translated into English, the song, often heard in Vallecas of late, reads – “Next year, Rayo-Liverpool”.
The chant is a tradition followed by the club supporters for some time now, with it presumably being developed following Rayo’s lone appearance in European competition in the 2001-2001 UEFA Cup, wherein Liverpool were the winners.
Rayo, having gained promotion in 1999, entered the 2000-2001 European competition via a fair play draw, reaching the quarter-finals before suffering a painful defeat at the hands of eventual runner ups Deportivo Alavés.
However, the club fell on hard times soon thereafter following successive relegations, finding it hard to secure promotion let alone a berth in European competition.
But despite continued failures, Rayo’s tryst with European football remained alive via old chants of – “Next year Rayo-Liverpool!”.
Whenever the club got close to securing a European berth in the past, fans would belt the chant, which is an allusion to Rayo’s desire to compete again against Europe’s best.
😍😍 EL AÑO QUE VIENE RAYO – LIVERPOOL ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️ pic.twitter.com/ij6ltCFYPh— Union Rayo Live (@UnionRayoLive) December 5, 2021
And what until now was just a long-standing dream, the Rayistas are beginning to see a possible return to Europe in the offing, and on their own merits at that.
The sight of fans singing the old chant after Saturday night’s victory is a sunny reminder of the great things Andoni Iraola and his men have achieved this season.
What makes his achievement so far more incredible is the fact that Rayo has the lowest budget among the teams in La Liga.
Despite the financial constraints, Los Franjirroja has done more than what was expected, and with a return to European competition highly likely, it’s no wonder the old chant has been recovered yet again.