Los franjirrojos join RCD Espanyol and RCD Mallorca as the third team to begin their campaign in LaLiga Santander next season. Iraola's men sealed promotion following an impressive 5-1 aggregate victory over CD Leganes in the semi-finals and then overcoming Girona CF in what was a pulsating final to beat them 0-2 (2-3 on aggregate), which saw them return to the top tier.
Rayo finished the regular season in sixth position with 67 points, having won 19 times and drawn on 10 occasions. The Madrid-based side were consistent both in defence and attack, netting 52 goals which saw them ranked fourth among the highest-scoring teams in the division. Key contributors were Isaac Palazon, who finished as the club’s highest marksman with ten goals, and Alvaro García, who supplied nine assists. Rayo impressed with their rearguard action as well, with only five other teams conceding fewer than their record of 40 goals. Midfield powerhouse Oscar Valentin was a key cog in a well-run machine, recovering possession for his team a total of 61 times over the course of the season, ranking him third in the division for balls retrieved, while Alejandro Catena also played a vital role for Rayo, accumulating more minutes than any other player and ranking third overall in LaLiga SmartBank.
Following a gritty, hard-fought promotion campaign, Rayo Vallecano will be competing in their eighteenth LaLiga Santander season in 2020/21. This is the result of months and months of tireless effort, never giving up and latterly bouncing back after falling to defeat in the first leg of the promotion play-off final. Coach Iraola deserves heaps of praise, having struck the perfect balance in his side, knowing when to rest players and allowing them to flourish in each game they faced.
After a two-season absence, Vallecas will once again welcome top flight football. Congratulations to Los Franjirrojos!