Ex-Spain coach Luis Aragones died at the age of 75 early on Saturday morning
Luis Aragones, the former Spain coach who shaped the team’s rise from perennial underachiever to global powerhouse, has died.
The 75-year-old, who managed Spain to glory at Euro 2008, passed away early on Saturday morning.
Spanish internationals Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas were among the first to pay tribute
Mourning: Ex-Spain coach Luis Aragones died at the age of 75 early on Saturday morning
The beginning: Aragones was credited with starting Spain’s spell of world dominance with the Euro 2008 win
Luis Aragones fact file
Born: July 28 1938, Madrid
Playing career (striker)
1958–1960 Real Madrid
1958–1959 Recreativo Huelva (loan)
1959–1960 Hercules (loan)
1960 Ubeda (loan)
1960 AD Plus Ultra (loan)
1964–1974 Atlético Madrid
1974–1980 Atlético Madrid
1982–1987 Atlético Madrid
1991–1993 Atlético Madrid
2001–2003 Atlético Madrid
Torres said: ‘Thank you Mister, I will never be able to thank you sufficiently for all you did for me.‘ while Fabregas added: ‘Rest in Peace, Mister. Thank you for everything!’
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos and Barcelona’s midfield maestro Andres Iniesta were also quick to pay their respects.
Ramos tweeted: ‘ Luis has responsibility for what I am as a footballer and he taught us the path to glory. Big hug to all his family.’ while Iniesta said: ‘Thank you very much for everything that you taught us, for all that you gave us. We will remember you. For always Mister. RIP.’
The Spanish football association said that Aragones was in the Centro de Madrid clinic in the capital and expressed their sorrow at the loss of the ‘Spain national coach at the start of their glorious run of success in world football’.
Spain were long regarded as under-achievers but Aragones changed that perception with the 2008 victory which paved the way for further triumphs under Vicente del Bosque at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.
Aragones realised the need to freshen up the Spain dressing room, bringing an end to the international careers of Raul and Michel Salgado to create a new playing style based on the short-passing football that was bringing success at Barcelona.
The often eccentric coach was derided in the Spanish press for dropping the established stars before results started to improve.
He chose to stand down after the Euro success and then went on to coach Turkish side Fenerbahce which ended in failure after one season in 2009.
Thankful: The victory six years ago was Spain’s first major trophy since 1964
Aragones made his name as a player with Atletico between 1964 and 1974, making more than 350 appearances, winning three league titles and also representing Spain 11 times before hanging up his boots.
He then took up the reins with the Madrid club, the first of four spells at the helm in which he led them to six trophies and promotion from the Segunda Division in 2002.
Aragones also guided Barcelona to Copa del Rey success during his one season in charge of the Catalan club in 1987/88 and took over the national side in 2004.
Storm: Aragones had to apologise for allegedly making racist comments about Thierry Henry to Jose Reyes
As well as his achievements at club and national level, Aragones will also be remembered for the media storm he caused in October 2004 after allegedly making racist remarks about former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry.
Aragones was apparently trying to motivate Henry’s then Arsenal team-mate Jose Reyes during a training session ahead of Spain’s World Cup qualifier against Belgium when the incident occurred. The Spain boss is alleged to have referred to Henry using racist language and told Reyes that he was the better player of the two.
The comments from Aragones were captured by cameras from TV station Antenna 3, prompting the coach to later issue an apology to the Frenchman.
Source : Daily Mail