Rayo Vallecano was founded in 1924 and the team played in white shirts for 25 years before a partnership deal with Atletico Madrid was struck in the 1949-50 season, where it was agreed a red diagonal stripe would be added to the shirt, with the colours remaining to this day.

However, it was not until over 50 years after formation that the club achieved promotion to the top flight – lasting just three years before relegation in 1980 – and ever since then Los Franjirrojos have been something of a yo-yo team between the top two divisions.

Following a fifth promotion to La Primera in 1999, Rayo finished ninth the following season and qualified for the UEFA Cup through the fair play draw, eventually going out to competition runners-up Deportivo Alaves in the quarter-finals.

Thereafter, Rayo fell on hard times and after two successive relegations fell into the third tier of Spanish football in 2004, only returning La Segunda in 2008, but a runners-up spot in 2011 under Jose Ramon Sandoval ensured a 13th season amongst the elite.

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