Alberto Bueno: “Being a brave team is in Rayo’s DNA”

Alberto Bueno (Madrid, March 20, 1988) walks through Vallecas and is the center of many furtive glances. The midfielder was born right next door, in Moratalaz, and grew up in the Real Madrid youth academy, where he reached 40 goals as a youth. Later, he went through Lopetegui’s Castilla and debuted with the first team under Schuster (2008-09). He enjoyed minutes in the three competitions: Cup, League and Champions. However, he had to pack his bags. Years later (2013-15), the striker achieved Rayo’s scoring record in the First Division, with 28 goals, and it is still valid. He remembers that golden age walking along Avenida de Albufera and Calle Payaso Fofó, while waiting for a new project to continue playing football. Just in case, he has a plan B. Always linked to the ball, his passion, his life.

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—What does it feel like to step on Vallecas?

“It’s always special. I have been very happy here. I remember that symbiosis with people. She turned to us and it showed. The field is tiny and you listen perfectly to the fan and I am almost from the neighborhood (Moratalaz), I felt like one of the family.

—One of his great moments was the poker against Levante.

—I still go down the street and people tell me. It was one of those days in which everything comes to you and what you touch goes inside. From that day I keep a video of my departure, signing the fans and getting together with my family. My little one would have been there 3 years old or so. I also keep the ball with the four goals, although with the moves it is saved. When I settle down, you’ll have a special place.

“What’s left of that experience?”

“Those years we enjoyed a lot. Being a brave team is in Rayo’s DNA, we were and they are now with Iraola. We went to any field and we were protagonists. We had that order-disorder that Paco liked and disturbed the rival. We got together players who did not have a super name, but we did have very good conditions and who adapted to the profile that the coach was looking for.

—That Ray had a personality, like the current one…

—The coach who comes to Rayo must know what it is and what it means. This team has an essence, although the players give it different nuances.

—Was your time at Rayo the sweetest?

-Yes. I felt complete and, above all, very understood, with what I was and what I could contribute.

—It came to sound for the Selection.

—Honestly, at that moment, I also felt that I was very close to that call. I saw that my numbers were similar to those of the players who were going.

“I felt full and well understood with what I was and could contribute”

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—Then he made the leap to Porto with Lopetegui.

—People did not understand my departure because I was very successful in Rayo. I was happy and I would have loved to continue all my life, but I needed to look for a new challenge to see how far I could go. I decided on Porto because they could play in the Champions League and it was a team that was fighting to win titles. From then on, I had better and worse moments and I did not continue with the growth that I had in Vallecas. You weigh the pros and cons, you make a decision and you never know if it’s the right one or not, but I don’t regret it. If at Porto I had had a little more confidence and continuity, I think it would have been different.

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—You trained in the Madrid academy, how was that?

—I started in the Hayedo de Moratalaz and from there I went on to La Concepción. I arrived at Infantil A in Madrid at the age of 13 and you found yourself with some important riddles. Madrid has given me everything: the chance to grow as a person and a footballer and to open up to a professional world.

—Is it so difficult to break that barrier of the first team?

—It is, because there are the best and the competition is brutal. Now there are Lucas Vázquez, Carvajal, Nacho… And that is no coincidence. I learned many lessons because I am an observer. Van Nistelrooy stopped with the homegrown players to explain definitions to us with brutal naturalness and closeness.

—Can Rayo get their hands on Madrid this Monday?

—Madrid is being reliable and has many alternatives. That makes him a favorite, but Rayo is a lot of Rayo at home. When a team isn’t afraid, it’s always bloody. Vallecas, who breathes football, will press.

—Do you like Rayo de Iraola?

—The technician has given many things. His reference is Trejo, because of his career and because he is very showy, but the two wings catch my attention. They are very vertical, very insistent, they go one-on-one a lot… They can complicate Madrid.

—What does Ancelotti give to Madrid?

“He’s the best coach for the team. He is polite, close, knows how to mediate and interpret all situations. When there is stress he is able to lower it and when there is relaxation he is able to squeeze and plug everyone. I always have Madrid at the top in the pools to win all the competitions.

“Van Nistelrooy explained to us homegrown players how to finish”

REAL MADRID

—Which player of yours would you stay with?

—Benzema and Modric catch my attention, Vinicius is also in great form, but I really like Rodrygo. He understands football very well and knows how to develop it in different positions.

—You agreed with Militao, were you already pointing out ways?

—Yes, in Porto. He has had a brutal growth, but already there he was superlative. Right now he has a hierarchy in Madrid’s defense, which is not easy to achieve and he is one of their most fit players.

“Who is the best striker now?” And your child reference?

—Benzema is the most versatile, he has taken a step forward and is a total player. He always seemed intelligent to me and that he made others very good. My idol was Ronaldo and Raúl, the mirror to look at myself. An example for any youth squad.

—Watch out for the Rayista attack in January with RdT, Falcao and Camello.

—For a team like Rayo it is a luxury to have those strikers. Camello has projection, RdT is showy and Falcao, milk.

What projects do you have now?

—I’m looking at options to continue playing. Last year I was part in Greece and another in Algeciras. I would like to continue, but if I have to take the step I would love to do things related to football. The way of training attracts me.

—He has passed through Spain, Portugal, England and Greece. What experience does she have?

—The two most comforting were those in England (Derby County) and Portugal (Oporto and Boavista). Perhaps I did not know how to choose the moment and the way to go to Greece.

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