Iraola renews with Rayo

Andoni Iraola will continue on the Rayo bench for one more season (2023). The Vallecano club made official this Thursday the renewal of the 39-year-old coach, after having signed an outstanding course in the First Division. Rayismo has received the most desired news even before the championship ended, thus clearing up all the unknowns arisen about the future of a coach who will be able to get down to work to design the next campaign, his third at the helm of the red-and-red team. The one from Usurbil will be the cornerstone of the project and has become the most anticipated and exciting signing for the fans.

The coach himself spoke about his continuity, at the press conference prior to the last league game against Levante. “I’m very happy to be able to continue being Rayo’s coach. I’m very happy with the working group and the players, who have been together for a while and we’re getting to know each other better and want to continue growing. This football thing doesn’t stop and we have to continue improving. We have to be better to achieve the goal and be able to play in the First Division again for a third season. Looking forward to finishing this year well against Levante and starting to think about the following season”, explained the Basque coach.

Iraola’s career at Rayo has been impeccable. He arrived in the summer of 2020 with the goal of promotion and he fulfilled it, after getting into the sixth playoff and signing a miraculous comeback in Montilivi. That team laid the foundations for what would be in the First Division, both in form and substance. Namely, both in the idea and philosophy of the game —with verticality as the flag—, and in the bulk of players who gave continuity to all those principles. The squad knew inside out what to do and found their method effective in the elite. He won and fell in love.

This is how the youngest coach on the Primera benches became the revelation of the category. Rayo – one of the betting favorites to go down before the start – became the best local in Europe, ahead of PSG and had a stratospheric first round, to the point of going on Christmas vacation in Champions positions. However, the League was not the competition that most excited the Vallecana fans, but the Copa del Rey, in which the red-haired team reached the semifinala circumstance that they had only experienced once in their history, 40 years ago.

Rayo fell with honors against Betis, but that overexertion ended up taking its toll and they chained the worst streak in their history in the highest category with thirteen games without winning. Of course, the victories away against Espanyol and Barça were enough to seal the permanence virtually five days before the end. It ended up being mathematical, three days later, thanks to the draw at the Coliseum. This was, without a doubt, the culmination of a great season, which serves as a key to extend his stay among the greatest.

With the objective already closed, the debate focused on his continuity or not at the head of Rayo. Iraola opened the doors to sit down and listen to the Madrid club’s proposal, with whom he always acknowledged having a good relationship. All this has meant that the parties have reached an agreement as soon as desired by the stands, by the locker room, by the board… Silencing all those rumors that placed him in the orbit of Athletic, even more so, with the elections that were are coming this summer.

Iraola will continue defending the Strip and increasing its legend. At the helm of AEK Larnaca (18-19) he won the Cyprus Super Cup and managed to qualify the team for the Europa League group stage for the second time in its history. Already on the bench of a recently promoted Mirandés (19-20) he struck again, reaping ample salvation —he finished eleventh— and taking him to the semifinals of the Cup, leaving Celta, Sevilla and Villarreal along the way. Y with Rayo he has been the architect of an exciting project, which he cemented in Second and has made grow in First.