“Dunne captures the singularity of the determinedly local, blue-collar, radical Madrid club Rayo Vallecano, providing a view of Spanish football beyond the slavish preoccupation of most media with Real Madrid and Barcelona.”
Featured in The Guardian’s Best Sports Books of 2017.
Right after Real and Atletico, comes Rayo Vallecano as third in the list of Madrid’s famous football teams. But, the interesting fact about this team is that it is also a football club with an uncompelling story and exceptional supporters.
While coming to the point of control with the language and the life in Spain, freelance journalist Robbie Dunne showed curiosity in investigating the story of the Rayo Vallecano. This was the time when the team had gradually started adjusting to life in the second league of 2016/17 Spanish football campaign. His findings during his time following the club is an extraordinary story that goes way beyond just football.
Established in 1924, Rayo Vallecano came to the ninth position in La Liga at the millennium’s very start and from there, reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup in the following season. It’s true that their story is indisputable, not one of most significant success stories in the history of football. By 2004, they had been relegated not once, but twice.
In his book Working Class Heroes, Dunne has stylistically mixed various short essays and the diary entries from games that he had attended.
Filled with interesting characters throughout, this book contains various legendary tales, including the times when the team had reported neo-Nazi Roman Zozulya, the details of the time when the team had made it up to International news headlines for declining the signing of Ukrainian footballer and the protests that took place against the controversial club ownership.