Fran García: “I’m happy at Rayo, but let it be what it has to be”

Frank Garcia (Bolaños de Calatrava, Ciudad Real, 22 years old) never imagined, when he played soccer with his brother in the garage, finishing the season of his debut in Primera with note. So his thoughts were focused on not breaking anything, “that he was the oldest and then he got paid”, he laughs. Now his head is resting, with the satisfaction of having fulfilled his duty, after get the permanence for lightning and sign a growth that has caught the attention of many teams, including Real Madrid. Precisely in his quarry this left-back was formed, who signed with Fringe until 2025although half of its rights continue to belong to the white club. Hence, his future is up in the air. Something that does not worry the defender, for whom the family —the one of blood and the one you choose— is his pillar. They put him out of his mind that those seven shoulder injuries, during his three years as a youth, were a sign of destiny for him to stop. He did not stop and today he reaps the fruits of it, as a budding talent and a player who has earned a place in the heart of rayismo.

Photo by Fran Garcia

—What balance do you make of the season?

—The team has been dead from start to finish. We have had good and not so good streaks, but we knew how to live up to it. When things are not going so well it is easier to disconnect or blame someone else. Here, quite the opposite. The group has been united and confident that the objective would be met.

“What time do you have?”

—Achieving permanence at the Camp Nou was special, but I prefer that first round… The EuroRayo! Although I didn’t believe it, I wasn’t entirely aware… Since I arrived I’ve experienced magnificent things, I’ve gone from Segunda B to helping Rayo be saved. The team has fought side by side and the people around us have made everything much easier for us.

—How do you rate your debut in the First Division?

—We started with two complicated starts, Pizjuán and Anoeta, which marked me. I thought that maybe it was a year of suffering, but things turned around when we beat Getafe, Athletic and Cádiz. Unai told me: ‘Uncle, this is very difficult in First Division’. It was complicated for us outside, but we always gave a good image. We showed ourselves as a happy team that proposed the game they wanted, without being shy about the rival. That identity has been valued. Our games were not bland, but back and forth. That people like.

“We’ve been a happy team, that didn’t shy away and our games weren’t bland. People like that”

What field has impressed you?

—Not counting the Bernabéu, which I already knew, Pizjuán, Villamarín… And Sadar! It wasn’t as big as the rest, but the fans pushed hard and they scored on us at 91′. It was a pressure cooker. I was trying to talk to my teammates and we couldn’t hear each other five meters away.

—And which rival cost you more to stop?

-Carrasco! That first match was when we had the COVID outbreak and we were barely able to train. Without that it would have been different, I have no doubt… Atlético started like a steamroller and Carrasco, in a corner play, messed me up.

—Which colleague gives you the most advice?

—The one who acts as a father, so to speak, is Mario Suárez. We live nearby and he is the one who helps me the most. Being able to have him as a partner and reference is incredible. Although I have a very good relationship with many. There is also ‘Choco’ who is like another father, he always tries to give you a hand and goes out of his way to make everyone comfortable. He is a guy of 10.

—What is Mr. Iraola to blame for the success?

“I will always be grateful for the opportunity. I owe him a lot, he gave me the confidence I needed to take that step forward. She had never left Madrid and it was a challenge. He is a spectacular coach and he has shown it by transferring his game philosophy to us, how to plan matches… The coach is a very important asset for Rayo, not only because of what he has shown but because of what he can achieve to prove.

Lightning Shield/Flag

—The fans feared his departure until he renewed and now, that of many players.

—The buzz is starting. El Rayo is a trampoline club. He is one of the greats of Spanish football and a great opportunity for us players to grow. It is beneficial for the entity and the footballers. We feed each other. There are people who are at a very high level. Perhaps there are exits because there are players who can play a spectacular role in teams with European positions and even higher.

-Many assume that you will not continue, after Madrid considers recovering it.

I try to stay calm and keep my feet on the ground. Right now I’m a Rayo player, I’m happy here and I feel at home. It is an honor to be part of this great family. If I continue, I will defend these colors with all my heart. From there, let it be what it has to be.

—For a Madrid youth squad, is coming back a dream?

—I am very sincere and I have always said it: my dream would be to return. I wish I had that opportunity, but I have to dedicate myself to my team. I will leave everything on the field, as I have done so far.

—It makes you dizzy to leave Madrid, would it also make you go back?

“I haven’t thought about it. Now in summer we will have to see what happens, what situations arise, study everything well and decide. When you leave Madrid it is a bit scary because you can get cold. That is a bubble and outside it is easier for you to prick yourself with something. It’s another world, but I think… I got here because of what I’ve done. I don’t have to change anything to try to please you. I have been wrong about that many times. And I must continue doing the same, being the same person…

“The coach is a very important asset, not only for what he has shown but for what he can show”

As a child they always dressed him in white…

-Yes. My grandfather, rest in peace, told me that he had to see me play with Sevilla. He was closed. When I went on vacation with them to Seville, they dressed me in the Madrid suit, but they put a Seville pin on me. Or a Sevilla ball. He tried to convince me, saying that the color didn’t change much either and that he had to take me there… (laughs).

—Tell me about Vallecas.

—I chose Rayo because I felt identified with its values ​​and its philosophy of the game. I had no doubt that it would be a good destination for me. Plus, it was close to home. I didn’t have to move. That holds me back a bit. Feeling comfortable off the field is very important.

—What has Lightning taught you in these two campaigns?

—The importance of the surroundings. I am one of my people. I don’t like to move my circle. That’s important and as long as I can keep it, I will. I know how to give him the place he deserves.

“Why is the Ray special?” What do people tell you?

—The fans do not get off the boat in good times or bad. Without going any further, we experienced it with the 1-5 defeat against Villarreal. The stands in the 90th minute were singing, moving their scarves… That says a lot about what Rayo is. I remember another day that I went with my friends to a bar near the stadium after a victory. A man told me: ‘Fran García, you don’t stop… I’ll eat your eggs!’ I stayed pillao thinking ‘did he really say that?’ When I left she was still there and took a picture with me. These are things that do not happen elsewhere, but in Vallecas everything is possible.