The great Madrid, London, Buenos Aires...
As the worldwide-famed Clásico readies itself, there is another 'minor clásico' taking place in a humble corner of Vallecas. Minor but not inferior. I'm speaking about Rayo Vallecano against Getafe, the two clubs that are fighting it out for the bronze medal of Madrid. And when I say Madrid, I refer to the wider community of Madrid rather than the city. Rayo is 'Madrileño' in the second sense of the word. Their neighbourhood, Vallecas, has been part of Madrid since the 1950s and there they vote for the mayor of the capital. They even provided one, Barranco, a true 'Rayista'. Getafe is not Madrid, they have their own mayor. They did have a mayor who was close friends with the clubs president, but the current one, in contrast, is not on the birthday card list.
Rayo and Getafe are both currently trying to avoid the drop. Their old solidarity as underdogs (there was a year in which both teams agreed on a draw which saw Rayo promoted to the Primera and saved Getafe from being relegated to the Segunda B) has now become a rivalry to save themselves. They are suspcious and it doesn't look good. Getafe has done really well since their first ever ascent to the top league, holding down their place for twelve consecutive years and counting. You could say that they have never been relegated to the second tier unlike Real Madrid, Barça and Athletic Club. Rayo has gone and returned, and is part of an area that has given much to Madrid, through work and cultural.
Behind these two, comes another club, that of Leganés (currently top of the second division), which, like Getafe, is not really part of Madrid. It's outside the city but is part of 'Greater Madrid'. Who knows, if everything goes well, this 'Greater Madrid' could have five teams in the Primera next season, as do Buenos Aires and London. Let's not forget Alcorcón, who sit ninth in the Segunda, and their ambitions. We will see what happens but we should applaud the efforts of these sides who fight for their right - alongside the giants of Real and Atlético - for their place in the limelight. Twelve years in the Primera, the elegance of Paco or the faith of the 'new' Leganés.
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