Rayo Vallecano do the Hokey Cokey

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The reason for La Liga Loca’s numerous literary and sporting awards, and the fact that is has been translated into 892 languages, is a very simple one. It is the blog’s mixture of admirable industry and bone-idle laziness.

Every weekend, the airport-loving half of La Liga Loca travels the length and breadth of the land watching Spain’s finest teams in action. And when it has to, Betis.

The other half slumps on its sofa, moans about what’s on TV and only ever goes to matches if they can be reached in under 32 minutes. Or don’t involve Deportivo.

And this is why the latter is delighted by the current success of, Madridileño side, Rayo Vallecano.

For those just dabbling their toes in the waters of the game in Spain, Rayo used to be a relatively regular fixture in La Primera.

But then it all went very Pete Tong in 2003 with relegation to the Segunda A and then the Segunda B, where the side spent four seasons before bouncing back up to Spain’s second tier last summer.

However, a 1-1 draw at, league leaders, Xerez over the weekend now sees Rayo fourth and fancying their chances of a return to the top flight.

Realistically, the Vallecans would be creamed within seconds of the start of any Primera campaign, but the fact that their cosy, inner city, three-sided stadium is a very easy downhill stroll from the city centre means that the club has La Liga Loca’s full support in their promotion campaign.

Unfortunately, the good times have turned ever so slightly sour for Rayo, as the club has run into a spot of bother with the Old Bill - and it isn’t anything to do with match-fixing or tax-based naughtiness.

Late last week, one of Rayo’s players, Carlos de la Vega, was arrested along with 10 others after a truck containing 600kg of cocaine was stopped by police in Madrid.

The swoop was part of Operation Cyclone and its link with football doesn’t end with the Rayo right-back, who has now been thrown into the slammer without bail.

Also arrested were, former Hercules and Red Star Belgrade player, Predrag Stankovic, ex-lower league stalwart Txutsi and the player’s agent, Zoran Matijevic - the gentleman that Marca report is thought to be the ringleader of this particular bad-ass band of brothers.

The police are currently investigating the extent of De la Vega’s involvement with the gang while he befriends Big Toni behind bars, but the incarceration of the defender has caused a bit of stir in the Rayo camp, says manager Pepe Mel. “He’s a great guy and this has caught us by surprise.”

While Rayo have yet to make an official statement concerning their player’s alleged involvement with a lorry load of Colombian marching powder, they have announced, instead, that Saturday’s home game against Girona is going to be a special ‘ladies day’.

Every season ticket holder is allowed to bring their bird or bride into the game for free, ensuring a 15,500 crowd of squealing squaws failing to understand the offside rule.

And if you feel that La Liga Loca is being outrageously sexist in that remark, it can only note that Rayo Vallecano started the trend with their hat-patting plan to give a carnation and a wee sweetie to every freebie-loving female that enters the ground.

Unless De la Vega makes a swift return, the full-back will be missing out on Saturday’s oestrogen-loaded action.

However, the great news is that Rayo’s right-back replacement is the perfect fit to fill Carlito’s boots - a player by the name of Jorge Andújar Moreno.

A player who also prefers to go by the monikor of ‘Coke’.

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