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 Usurbil will be the cornerstone of the project and has become the most anticipated and exciting signing for the fans.
The own trainer spoke on his continuityat the press conference prior to the last league match against Levante. “I’m very happy with the working group and the players, with whom we have been for some time and we are getting to know each other. This football thing doesn’t stop and we must continue to improve. We have to be better to achieve the goal and be able to play in the First Division again for a third season. There is a desire to finish this year well and start thinking about the following season”, explained the Basque.
Iraola’s career at Rayo has been impeccable. He arrived in the summer of 2020 with the goal of being promoted and he fulfilled itafter 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. That is to say, both in the idea and philosophy of the game —with verticality as the flag—, as well as in the bulk of the players who gave continuity to all those principles. The squad knew by heart what to do and found that their method was effective in the elite. She 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 dressing room, by the board… Silencing all those rumors that placed him in the orbit of Athleticeven more so, with the elections that are coming up this summer.
Iraola will continue defending the Strip and increasing its legend. At the head of AEK Larnaca (18-19) he won the Cyprus Super Cup and managed to qualify the team for the group stage of the Europa League, for the second time in its history. Already on the bench of a recently promoted Mirandés (19-20) he struck again, reaping a comfortable salvation —he finished eleventh— and taking him to the semifinals of the Cup, leaving Celta, Sevilla and Villarreal on the way. Y with Rayo he has been the architect of an exciting project, which he founded in Second and has made grow in First.